Speaker Date Topic
Patrise Perkins-Hooker, Fulton County Attorney May 02, 2017
LAW DAY: The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy
LAW DAY: The 14th Amendment: Transforming American Democracy

Patrise M. Perkins-Hooker serves as County Attorney for Fulton County, Georgia. Ms. Perkins-Hooker joined the Office of the County Attorney in January 2016 as County Attorney. In this capacity, she is responsible for all of the civil legal needs of Fulton County, Georgia. She supervises a staff of over 30 professionals and provides legal advice to seven commissioners and over 40 departments. Prior to joining Fulton County she served as the vice president and general counsel for the Atlanta BeltLine Inc. for six years.


Perkins-Hooker is an honors graduate of Georgia Tech and received her graduate degrees from Emory University Law and Business Schools and was installed as the 52nd president of the State Bar of Georgia on Saturday, June 7, 2014. She is the first African American and the third woman to serve as president of the State Bar.

INTRODUCTION: Mason Stephenson




Chuck Palmer, Partner, Troutman Sanders May 09, 2017
Update on Bobby Jones Golf Course
Chuck Palmer's practice encompasses a wide variety of government related matters including representation of clients before state and federal legislative bodies and regulatory agencies; government permitting, licensing, franchising, contracting, zoning, and related development matters; general representation of telecommunications companies; general representation of transportation companies; general representation of electric utility companies; and general representation of clients in the golf industry.  He received his BS from UGA and his JD from Emory Law School and has been with Troutman Sanders through his career.
Representative Matters include counsel to Delta Air Lines in the expansion and lease of Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport and various state and federal regulatory matters, to Verizon Wireless in obtaining local government approvals for the construction of its cellular network in Georgia and in State of Georgia and Southeastern regulatory matters and to Emory University on various zoning and land use matters in connection with several campus development projects including new hospital, clinic, academic buildings, and housing.
​His professional and Community Involvement include chair of State Capital Group , Emory University Board of Visitors, Georgia State Golf Association and the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Atlanta.
​Chuck has received numerous honors including the Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards, recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in Administrative/Regulatory Law, Government Relations, and Land Use & Zoning Law, named “Administrative/Regulatory Law Atlanta Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers and selected as a Super Lawyer in Government/Cities/Municipalities by Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine.
INTRODUCTION:  Mason Stephenson
INVOCATION:  Lovell Lemons
Debra Edelson, Exec. Dir., Emerald Corridor May 16, 2017
Revitalizing Grove Park-- A Public Private Partnership
Revitalizing Grove Park-- A Public Private Partnership
Debra Edelson is currently the Executive Director and Board Member of the Emerald Corridor Foundation.  She was previously a Senior Program Director for the Trust for Public Land (TPL) where she managed the Georgia Office’s greenspace and conservation programs, including the Proctor Creek Greenway, Chattahoochee Valley Blueway, and Chattahoochee River transaction work.
Prior to that, she directed the Real Estate program for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Debra resided in NYC for many years where she launched the iconic NYC High Line park while representing CSX Corporation.  Previous to that she held a post in the New York City Mayor’s Office, and two years with the City of New York’s Economic Development Corporation.
Debra serves on the Board of Directors of the South Fork Conservancy, and recently completed six years of service as a Planning Commissioner in Dekalb County, GA. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from New York University and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University.
​INVOCATION:  Paul Marston
Lt. Col. Casey Geist and Michael Ward May 23, 2017
Kiwanis and the U.S. Army: Shared Values of Education, Leadership and Service
Kiwanis and the U.S. Army: Shared Values of Education, Leadership and Service

Lt Col Casey Geist began his officer career in 1999 as an Armor Officer after graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.  His tours of duty included support of Operation Iraqi Freedom as an Operations Officer and Combat Advisor to the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Command and support of Operation Enduring Freedom as the Executive Officer for 4-23 Infantry, operating in the Maiwand District of Kandahar.

Most recently, Lt Col Geist served as the Operations Officer and Test Parachutist for the Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate at Fort Bragg and is currently serving as the Professor of Military Science for Georgia Military College and Mercer University.  He is a graduate of the Command General and Staff School, Ranger School, Jumpmaster School, Scout Platoon Leader Course, holds a B.A. in Mathematics from UCCS and a M.A. in Business and Organizational Security from Webster University.

Lt Col Geist’s awards include the Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Valorous Unit Award, the Army Reserve Component Achievement Award, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Humanitarian Service Medal, NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Ranger Tab, the German, Dutch, Polish, and Italian Parachutist Badges, and the Bronze Order of Saint George. He and his wife Jenny have two children.

INTRODUCTION:  Bill Whitaker
Seth Hopkins, Director May 30, 2017
Booth Museum

INVOCATION:  Clay Prickett



Chief Justice Harris Hines, GA Supreme Court Jun 06, 2017

Chief Justice Harris Hines Chief JusticeGeorgia Supreme Court

INTRODUCTION:  Patrise Perkins-Hooker​
Danny Shoy, CEO, East Lake Foundation Jun 13, 2017
Breaking the Cycle of Intergenerational Poverty
Breaking the Cycle of Intergenerational Poverty
Daniel Shoy, Jr. serves as president of the East Lake Foundation.  He is responsible for strategic goal setting focused on advancing the Foundation’s mission to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty for children and families in the East Lake community. With overall responsibility for the Foundation’s operations and external relations, he is also responsible for sustaining strong relationships with the Foundation’s partners. Since joining the Foundation as Program Director in 2010, he has also served as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer.

Daniel has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with organizations focused on youth and community development. Prior to joining the East Lake Foundation, Daniel worked for The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation for 10 years and was responsible for awarding $28M in grants.

Daniel has completed several leadership programs including the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta Volunteer Involvement Program (2002), Southeast Council of Foundations Hull Fellows Program (2003), LEAD of Leadership Atlanta (2005), Association of Black Foundation Executives Connecting Leaders Program (2008), and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s Education Policy Fellowship Program (2009).  He is currently a member of Leadership Atlanta (Class of 2017).  He’s been a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. since 1994 and is currently active with its Nu Mu Lambda Chapter.

Daniel is a first generation American from New York City, speaks two other languages and enjoys international travel, sports and photography. He earned a B.A. in History from Emory University in 1995 and in 2013 was named an Emory College Distinguished Alumni.  He previously served on Emory University’s Board of Governors.  He currently serves on the Charles R. Drew Charter School Board of Directors and the University of Georgia Board of Visitors.
INTRODUCTION:  Mason Stephenson ​
Chuck Eaton, Commissioner Jun 20, 2017
Public Service Commission

Chuck EatonCommissionerPublic Service  Commission

INTRODUCTION:  Young Patterson

Shan Cooper, Chief Transformation Officer Jul 18, 2017

Shan Cooper is chief transformation officer, responsible for leading the company’s efforts to develop the capabilities and processes needed for growth. In addition, Shan leads the company’s procurement, logistics, information technology and recycling operations. Prior to joining WestRock, Shan served as vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

As general manager, she was responsible for the 6,000 employee operations in Marietta, GA; Meridian, MS; and Clarksburg, WV, which design, produce, modify and maintain military aircraft for the U.S. and countries around the world. Marietta programs include the C-130J Super Hercules, P-3 Orion, C-5M Super Galaxy and F-35 Lightning II.

Shan was named Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2015 Most Respected Business Leader; one of the Women of the Year 2015 by American Association of University Women; and as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Most Influential Georgians in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. She also received the 2013 Pioneer Award from U.S. Black Engineer & Information Technology Magazine.

She serves on the Board of Directors of Georgia Power Company.  Shan also serves on the executive board of the Metro Atlanta Chamber; is Chair of the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center and serves on the Board of Trustees of both Emory University and the Woodruff Arts Center; is on the Board for the Technical College System of Georgia, is on the Board of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and is a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club.

Shan earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and religion from Emory University and a master’s of business administration from the Roberto Goizueta Business School of Emory University. She is also a graduate of the Rutgers Global Executive Masters in Human Resource Leadership Program.

INTRODUCTION:  Irv Schoenberg
Larry Gluth, President, Bobby Dodd Institute Jul 25, 2017
Bobby Dodd Institute:  Empowering People. Changing Lives.
Bobby Dodd Institute:  Empowering People. Changing Lives.

Larry Gluth joined BDI in August 2016 as president and CEO, following almost a decade of leadership as Senior Vice President US and Canada for Habitat for Humanity International (HHI). 

Larry first became involved with HHI as a volunteer while he was working as an executive with Starbucks Corporation in Seattle, WA. He began by volunteering on house builds with the East King County Habitat affiliate in Remond, WA, and then served on the board for five years.

When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck in 2005, Larry took a yearlong sabbatical from Starbucks in order to volunteer full-time with Habitat on the Gulf Coast. He returned to Starbucks at the end of the year, and in 2007 he joined the Habitat for Humanity International staff full-time to lead operations of the U.S. and Canada area office. 

During his leadership with Habitat, Larry led the organization's Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative and invested in a long-term strategy for Habitat ReStores. These actions have helped Habitat serve more families in the United States than ever before.

A graduate of the University of Utah, Larry received his alma mater's Distinguished Alumnus award in 2010. He currently serves as a Trustee for the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and resides in Dunwoody with his wife, Gailynn, and their son, Connor.


Larry Gellerstedt, Pres/CEO, Cousins Properties Sep 19, 2017
“Update on Cousins Properties & Atlanta Real Estate”
“Update on Cousins Properties & Atlanta Real Estate”

In June 2009, Larry Gellerstedt was named President and CEO of Cousins Properties. He previously served as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer, overseeing Cousins’ leasing and asset management efforts as well as its development initiatives. Larry joined Cousins in 2005 following the acquisition of his firm, The Gellerstedt Group.


During his tenure at Cousins, Larry has steered the Company to focus on acquiring, developing and operating urban trophy office towers in high-growth Sunbelt markets while maintaining a conservative balance sheet. In 2016, he led the largest deal in Cousins history – the merger with Parkway Properties, Inc. and subsequent spin-off of the combined companies’ Houston-based assets into a separately traded REIT. From 2009 to 2016, Larry led Cousins from an equity market cap of $665 million to over $3.4 billion.


Larry began his career at Beers Construction Company (Beers) in 1978 as an estimator and project manager. Eight years later, he became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Beers and led the company to annual revenues in excess of $1.2 billion and the company’s eventual sale to Skanska AB.

He also has held positions as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Integral Group, recognized nationally for its visionary urban mixed-use development, and as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of American Business Products, a NYSE-listed manufacturer of packaging and printed office products.

Spanning a career of more than 35 years, Larry has received numerous accolades including Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Atlanta Business League’s CEO of the Year, and Georgia Trend magazine’s Georgia’s 100 Most Influential People.


Larry currently serves as Director, Georgia Power Company and Advisory Council of SunTrust Bank, Atlanta Division; Chairman, Georgia Research Alliance and Jesse Parker Williams Foundation; Vice Chair, Atlanta Committee for Progress and Trustee, Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. He served as Past Chair, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, The Commerce Club, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Metro Atlanta YMCA, Midtown Alliance, and Woodruff Arts Center.  He graduated from UNC at Chapel Hill.

INTRODUCTION:  Ernie Prickett