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Biz bits: electric vehicle chargers added to Decatur parking deck, Kirkwood prep academy receives grant

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Biz bits: electric vehicle chargers added to Decatur parking deck, Kirkwood prep academy receives grant

FILE PHOTO: Electric vehicle chargers were installed at the Decatur Town Center parking deck on Church Street in downtown Decatur in 2023. Photo courtesy of Rodney Torres-Mabe.

This story has been updated. 

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

– Electric vehicle chargers have been added to a parking deck in Decatur. 

Sixteen Tesla chargers and three level II chargers have been added to the Decatur Town Center parking deck at 546 Church Street in downtown Decatur.

The project was completed the week of Feb. 7 and was awaiting activation at the time. The chargers will be open to the public.

“The chargers were added because we had the space and a great location for the growing demand of EV,” said Peter Fownes of DTC Partners LLC, the owner of the parking deck.

– Ivy Preparatory Academy in Kirkwood has been awarded a $32,600 grant to support well-being on the school’s campus. 

The grant was made possible through funding from the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta in coordination with the State Charter Schools Foundation of Georgia, according to a press release.

The grant will fund mental health counseling for students and staff, protective barriers in front of the school, and other essential supports in response to a car crash into the building on Nov. 7, 2022.

The vehicle struck the school building, which impacted a classroom during instructional time. Two students had non-life-threatening injuries.

“This emergency grant will help us respond to the trauma our school community has experienced,” Head of School Charcia Nichols said. “By providing counseling services and purchasing safety equipment and traffic barriers, families will feel safe and reassured that we take the wellbeing of our scholars and staff seriously.”

The community has rallied around the school, including donations from the Lidl store near the school, and baskets and lunches provided by school support organizations and vendors.

– The Davis Bozeman Law Firm is celebrating its 16th anniversary this year. 

FILE PHOTO: Roodgine Bray (front) is the newest partner at Davis Bozeman Johnson Law. Photo courtesy of Davis Bozeman Johnson Law.

The firm was founded by Attorneys Mawuli Davis and Robert Bozeman 16 years ago. The pair met on the first day of orientation at Georgia State University’s College of Law, according to a press release.

Davis and Bozeman started discussing establishing a community-based law practice during their years in law school.

“These discussions led to the creation of Davis Bozeman Law Firm to fill a need in our community for the highest quality legal representation, paired with taking each client’s needs personally. We are proud to have been Your Attorneys, Advocates and Friends for the last [16] years,” the press release states.

– Goodwill of North Georgia has announced is 2023 board members and officers. 

Photo provided by Goodwill of North Georgia.

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA, GA (February 6, 2023) – Goodwill of North Georgia, the leading Goodwill in the nation for connecting jobseekers with employment, is announcing the appointment of three new board members and five new board officers for the 2023 fiscal year. Goodwill worked in partnership with Korn Ferry to recruit this new class of board members and officers. These individuals will bring new perspectives and expertise that will help advance the organization’s mission to put people to work.

The new board members, elected for a 3-year term, include:

Ms. Alicen Blair, Principal, Global Consumer Practice of Korn Ferry

Born in Tampa, Florida, Alicen is a Principal for Korn Ferry’s Consumer and Board & CEO Practices. She brings over twenty years of experience in the Executive Search Industry with extensive experience recruiting for innovative Consumer, Food & Beverage and progressive omni-channel focused companies. Alicen has successfully completed hundreds of searches at all levels, from personal contributors to top level executives, including Board of Directors, C-Suite, Director and Vice President. Prior to joining Korn Ferry, Alicen served as Managing Partner for Boyden Global Executive Search’s Consumer & Retail Practice and served as Managing Director for Harvard Group International’s Food & Beverage Practice where she created and led its Diversity Recruiting Practice.

Early in her career, she served in a senior management role for Robert Half International, a Global Fortune 500 recruiting firm. Alicen’s passion for advancing women in executive roles and board rooms makers her highly sought out by organizations throughout the US. She is among the top executive recruiters in the world, skilled at strategically assisting her clients to achieve diversity initiatives. She understands the struggles CEOs and Boards experience as it relates to promoting diversity and is dedicated to helping her clients achieve their unique goals.

“As a new Board member, I’m excited to enhance the local partnership between Google and Goodwill. The positive impact Google and Goodwill has already made on training Atlantans in technology is encouraging major companies to relocate to Atlanta and producing well-paying jobs for our neighbors.”

Ms. Michelle Jackson, Senior Vice President & Private Wealth Advisor, Capital Group Private Client Services

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Michelle is an enterprising and commercial leader. As a driven educator, she is passionate about coaching, developing and sponsoring talent. Michelle is currently Senior Vice President & Private Wealth Advisor at Capital Group Private Client Services. Prior to joining Capital Group, Michelle was Executive Director and Regional Sales Manager for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management where she developed a service focused and highly successful team. She was recognized for building collaborative teams across the country that achieve sustainable results in revenue growth and organizational change. Michelle enjoys making deep and meaningful connections with her individual clients and their families. By investing time into the relationship, she learns about their lives, personal goals and what they hope to achieve with their wealth. Michelle also takes a holistic view with her foundational clients, keeping each organization’s mission top of mind, while supporting all stakeholders from board member to donor. Her goal is to help clients succeed and works to understand each relationship’s individual success measures. She breaks down complicated issues into understandable terms and helps clients feel secure about their decisions. Michelle is also committed to expanding diversity in the workplace and engagement in the community.

“I am delighted to support the mission of Goodwill of North Georgia to help put people to work. The opportunity to make a difference in the community I live in is inspiring and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Ms. Winnifer Thomas-Cox, Managing Director, Health and Public Service Lead of Accenture Song

Born in Pensacola, FL, Winnifer Thomas-Cox serves as Accenture’s Managing Director and leads the Health and Public Service Practice for Accenture Song’s South Market Unit which includes 13 southern states. Here, she is fortunate to have the opportunity to wake up every day and work at the intersection of her Wharton School education, her 25-year professional experience, and her purpose – helping health organizations, state and local governments, higher education institutions and not-for-profit organizations deliver on their ambitions to provide exceptional service and an optimal experience to all their stakeholders with the shared goal of improving the lives of the communities they collectively serve. As the lead for the Health and Public Service Practice, Winnifer is charged with driving innovation, digital transformation, and business experience efforts for the firm’s clients.

She offers over 25 years of diverse leadership, marketing strategy, brand management, creative agency, and digital transformation experience and is versed in several industries, including health, public service, travel, hospitality and tourism, pharma, CPG, telecom, financial services, and others. She is deeply committed to the mission of improving lives through improving literacy and has worked with some of the world’s leading organizations, including Chick-fil-a, Cox Communications, The Home Depot, The Coca Cola Company, UPS, and Verizon Enterprise Services.

“I am honored and excited to be a part of the Goodwill of North Georgia’s Board of Directors, an organization whose vision, mission, and values are aligned to my own. I  have not only read stories about the impact that Goodwill Industries has on our communities’ ability to do more than survive – but thrive; I have seen and felt this impact firsthand in my own family and the community in which I was raised. I fundamentally believe ‘to whom much is given, much will be required,’ so then, it is my responsibility to serve and to do whatever I can to help deliver on the promise made within the Goodwill of North Georgia mission – to put people to work.”

Additionally, Keith Parker, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill of North Georgia, announces the appointment of Goodwill’s board officers for the fiscal year 2023. Board officers include:

– Dr. Kofi Smith, Chair of the Board, President and CEO of Keystone Management, LLC
– Dr. DeRetta Cole Rhodes, Vice Chair of Board, EVP/Chief People Capital Officer for the Atlanta Braves
– Mr. Edward Ferguson, Treasurer of Board, Managing Director of Raymond James & Associates
– Ms. Ellen Stern, Secretary of Board, Senior Vice President of CBRE, Inc.
– Mr. Kirk Halpern, Immediate Past Chair of Board, Founder & CEO of Farmers & Fishermen Purveyors

– CaringWorks has appointed its 2023 board of directors. 

CaringWorks has selected its 2023 board of directors. Photo courtesy of CaringWorks.

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA, February 14, 2023 – CaringWorks, one of the largest providers of supportive housing in the metropolitan Atlanta area for more than 20 years, has added Jeff Adams of Arnall Golden Gregory as a new board member and has 13 metro-Atlanta community leaders returning to the organization’s 2023 board of directors. Each board member contributes to the strategic direction for CaringWorks, which has helped more than 10,000 individuals and families in metro Atlanta escape homelessness by providing quality supportive housing, behavioral health, and a myriad of support services that empower clients to achieve stability and reach their full potential.

CaringWorks’ 2023 board of directors officers are Chair Tyrone Rachal Urban Key Capital Partners, Vice Chair Allyson McCarthy, AIA, of Turco McCarthy, Secretary Aisha Tucker-Brown PhD, MSW, of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Treasurer Courtney Showell of PwC. In addition to Adams, directors for 2023 include Michael Coughlin of The Fair Housing Institute, Colin Edelstein of NorSouth Constructs, Lawrence Elder of the City of Atlanta Public Defenders Office, Rhonda Hight of Let’s Talk, Ray Kuniansky of Columbia Residential, Richard MacKelfresh of Ameriprise Financial Services, Addison Meriwether, MCR of Cushman Wakefield, Sunil Nicholas of Redis Labs, E. Anwar Reddick of Greenlight Financial Technology, and Beth White of Accushield.

“I am honored to be working with such an incredibly dedicated board of directors who are passionate about ending the cycle of homelessness in metro Atlanta,” said CaringWorks CEO Carol Collard. “Our commitment extends beyond housing support, including providing access for clients to optimize their physical and mental wellness, increasing their chance at remaining stably housed. In 2023, this board will lead us as we work to expand our services to reach even more of our neighbors in need.”

In 2023, CaringWorks seeks to remove barriers to health and stability through its unique programs that are specifically tailored to the needs of those facing chronic homelessness. To address growing unmet behavioral health and other health needs, CaringWorks continues to grow in its capacity and effectiveness to serve by launching innovative programs and services – and enhancing existing ones – to integrate health services more seamlessly with its housing and essential supportive services.

CaringWorks serves approximately 10% of the homeless population in Atlanta, Fulton County and Dekalb County. Because CaringWorks provides access to services that foster dignity, self-sufficiency, and well-being, including access to mental and behavioral health services, CaringWorks residents work, pay taxes, rent apartments, purchase groceries, volunteer, and join faith-based organizations. Over 90% of CaringWorks residents are still housed one year after joining the program.

– Outdoor Voices is opening a store on Friday, Feb. 17 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.

– Four students from Atlanta have received the Evans Scholarship, a grant offered to golf caddies. 

Here is the full press release:

GLENVIEW, IL – Four students from Atlanta have been awarded the Evans Scholarship – a full housing and tuition college grant offered to golf caddies – following a final selection meeting interview held at Capital City Club in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 17.

The four students, who attend Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School, have unique stories that reflect the scholarship’s four selection criteria: a strong caddie record, excellent academics, demonstrated financial need and outstanding character.

They will begin college this fall as Evans Scholars, attending either Northwestern University or University of Notre Dame. The Evans Scholarship is valued at more than $125,000 over four years.

“Each student has demonstrated excellence in the classroom, on the golf course and in their communities,” said Western Golf Association Chairman Joe Desch. “We are thrilled for them to join an exceptional class of newly awarded Evans Scholars from across the nation.”

All four student caddies participated in the WGA’s Caddie Academy, a summer job program that offers academically promising young students with financial need an opportunity to caddie and live in the Chicago area for the summer, with the goal of ultimately earning a full tuition and housing scholarship to college.

Samantha Junco of Forest Park, Georgia, will attend Northwestern University, where she will study neuroscience. She caddied at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois.

“Because of caddying, my communication skills have drastically improved, my anxiety has lessened, and I am more confident in myself and the abilities I possess,” she says. “I’m able to be more assertive and no longer shy away from leadership. I’ve built the heart and courage to be in new spaces that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable in.”

Irvin Sandoval of Tucker, Georgia, will attend the University of Notre Dame, where he will study accounting. He caddied at Sunset Ridge Country Club in Northfield, Illinois.

“I have caddied for two years as part of the Caddie Academy,” he says. “Throughout my time, I have learned many characteristics that make up an Evans Scholar.”

Frederick White of Atlanta will attend the University of Notre Dame and plans to study marketing. They also caddied at Sunset Ridge Country Club.

“Through caddying, I have seen a side of life I doubt I would have gotten if I stayed in Georgia. Thanks to this great opportunity, I have been able to experience life by myself and become more independent, in addition to meet new people from around the country and building a sense of community I have never felt before,” they say. “This scholarship is not just a chance to get me into college, but a way to become a better version of yourself you could never imagine.”

Amelia Wilson of Stone Mountain, Georgia, will attend Northwestern University, where she will study art and psychology. She also caddied at Exmoor Country Club.

“Caddying helped me cultivate my potential and become the strong woman I am today,” she says. “Thanks to Caddie Academy, I was given the chance to grow on my own. I am the enthusiastic, confident and independent black woman who has grown to support herself and her community.”

Evans Scholars selection meeting interviews will continue nationwide through the spring. When the 2022-23 selection meeting process is complete, an estimated 325 caddies are expected to be awarded the Evans Scholarship.

The Western Golf Association, headquartered in Glenview, Illinois, has supported the Chick Evans Scholarship Program through the Evans Scholars Foundation since 1930. Known as one of golf’s favorite charities, it is the nation’s largest scholarship program for caddies.

Currently, a record 1,100 caddies are enrolled at 22 universities across the nation as Evans Scholars, and more than 11,800 caddies have graduated as Evans Scholars since the program was founded by famed Chicago amateur golfer Charles “Chick” Evans Jr.

“These young students represent what our Program has been about since 1930,” said WGA President and CEO John Kaczkowski. “We are proud to welcome them to the Evans Scholars family.”

Scholarship funds come mostly from contributions by nearly 36,000 supporters across the country, who are members of the Evans Scholars Par Club program. Evans Scholars Alumni donate more than $15 million annually, and all proceeds from the BMW Championship, the penultimate PGA TOUR Playoff event in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup competition, are donated to the Evans Scholars Foundation. In 2023, the BMW Championship will be held at Olympia Fields Country Club in Illinois, from Aug. 17-20.

To learn more about the WGA and ESF, visit wgaesf.org.

– Four non-profits, including Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta, have received grants from Delta Community Credit Union. 

Here is the full press release:

Feb. 8, 2023 – Four non-profit organizations received significant donations toward their mission to support local youth education through their unique programs and services. Delta Community Credit Union, Georgia’s largest credit union, invested a total of $35,000 in the educational services organizations Wednesday, kicking off the 10th year of its Philanthropic Fund awards.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta was awarded $10,000 to support its “Big Futures” curriculum, which emphasizes college and career exploration for middle and high school students. The organization, which offers one-to-one mentoring relationships for area youth, serves families in 12 metro Atlanta Counties including Dekalb County.

“The funds you are awarding us will help provide High School Littles with tailored resources, support, and programs resulting in these Littles graduating from high school and preparing to take on adult life head on,” said Kwame Johnson, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta.

Another $10,000 was awarded to Communities in Schools of Atlanta, a dropout prevention organization that partners with 63 schools in economically challenged areas across Atlanta Public Schools, as well as Clayton County, DeKalb County, and Fulton County Public Schools. The grant will help provide wraparound services and intensive case management to nearly 2,800 students and support the organization’s College and Career Readiness Program.

Breakthrough Atlanta also received $10,000 to support 7th-12th grade students on their path to college and Breakthrough’s incorporation of financial literacy work in all stages of its programming.

Mental Fitness 21st Century Learning received $5,000 to support its STEAM Academy, which allows many students who lack access to quality, affordable afterschool programs to participate in a STEAM curriculum that includes drones and robotics.

“Each of these organizations deserves our support and thanks for their commitment to our youth,” Delta Community CEO Hank Halter said. “Children are the future of our communities, so we should all be invested in their success.”

Through its Philanthropic Fund, Delta Community will invest a total of $150,000 in 20 metro Atlanta non-profit organizations throughout 2023.

– The owners of Storico are championing sustainability to reduce the carbon footprint across the Atlanta restaurant industry.

Here is the full press release:

ATLANTA (Feb. 13, 2023) – Pietro Gianni and Stephen Peterson — co-owners of popular Italian restaurants Storico FrescoStorico VinoForza Storico, and soon-to-open YEPPA&co Bar e Ristorante — have spent the past three years committing to eco-conscious practices at their establishments and the use of sustainable aluminum solutions in the hopes that their diners will demand the same from other restaurant groups.

“At the start of the pandemic, we were confronted with something unprecedented and had to figure out how to cut costs without cutting quality,” says Gianni. “We discovered that many of the financially beneficial solutions came from sustainability.”

By making small changes since 2020 and rethinking how they serve their guests, Gianni and his team were able to make a huge impact on both their bottom line and their carbon footprint. Swapping out paper towels for hand dryers in the bathrooms saved the company $35,000 per year, just as an example. Installing smart thermostats that are programmable through the owners’ cell phones led to 30% savings on utility bills. Replacing incandescent lights with LED bulbs also contributed to their energy efficiency. Switching to plant-based to-go containers and cutlery cut costs in half while also reducing the restaurant’s amount of landfill waste. Ordering food products in exact quantities to reduce trimming to almost zero and finding purposes for any trimmings, has led to greater efficiency. Prepping correctly and using technology to predict the volume of food orders greatly reduces waste, as food waste on the prep side accounts for more greenhouse gasses than automobiles.

To reduce the amount of glass (thousands of bottles per week thanks to the wines, spritzes, and bottled water served) used in his restaurants, Gianni began researching aluminum and was surprised to discover how much less labor these eco-friendly alternatives required. He installed still and sparkling water filtration systems at each restaurant and only offers prosecco on tap for house cocktails rather than bottles. The reduction in the mere weight of the restaurants’ waste reduces the number of trips to the dumpster from eight per day to three and allows for a 40% reduction in garbage bag usage. Now, the only bottled water offered at his restaurants is spring water in cans, which come in sustainable aluminum bottles for infinite recyclability.

Gianni has since been working with Novelis to install a dedicated aluminum recycling bin near the restaurants’ dumpsters and is encouraging other restaurant operators to get on board to increase the number of aluminum recycling centers throughout the city. “It’s a hugely beneficial process, but we are only four restaurants,” he explains. “If we get larger companies and restaurant chains to do the same, we can make a huge impact.”

As Gianni and Peterson get ready to open their latest concept YEPPA&co next month, they are demonstrating how to improve restaurant sustainability from the start while proving how financially advantageous these eco-friendly efforts can be. “It’s so much easier to be mindful of these things when you are starting from scratch rather than having to adapt existing restaurants. YEPPA&co was born with sustainability in mind since day one,” Gianni explains.

The YEPPA&co space previously housed two restaurants in succession. Gianni and his design team decided to lower the ceiling from 20 feet down to 12 feet to reduce the restaurant’s energy consumption and made sure they could reuse all the same wood. They reused most of the plumbing and scrap aluminum that was torn down from the previous restaurant, and the co-owners also opted for a bar-centric design that requires fewer materials to build and less labor to staff. At the bar, YEPPA&co will use a conveyor belt food delivery system that keeps labor costs down while ensuring faster service for patrons.

“YEPPA&co is a huge effort on our part to be more mindful of sustainability every step of the way. The restaurant is less labor and energy intensive and will hopefully offer diners a better experience,” he adds.

Gianni’s restaurants display their eco-conscious efforts whenever possible so customers can understand the impact. The responses from guests have been extremely positive, and Gianni says his staff members are very proud of these practices.

“There’s a generational shift happening, and our children are the customers of the future,” he says. “They want to dine in places that have these sustainable practices in place and will drive the change.”

For additional information on Storico Fresco, Storico Vino, and Forza Storico, visit storico.com. For more information on YEPPA&co, visit yeppaco.com.

Have business news to share? Email [email protected] and put “business news” in the subject line. 

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