Speaker Date Topic
Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta Mar 28, 2017
State of the City Address
State of the City Address

Kasim Reed is the 59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta. He was elected to a second term on November 5, 2013 and took the oath of office on January 6, 2014. Elected with a clear mandate for fiscal reform, he has increased core city services and reduced the City’s spending during the worst recession in 80 years.

Since taking office, he has hired more than 900 police officers and created the largest police force in the city’s history, re-opened all of the city’s recreation centers as safe havens for young people and improved fire-rescue response times. Working with the Atlanta City Council and the city’s employee unions, he successfully initiated a series of sweeping reforms to address the city’s $1.5 billion unfunded pension liability. Mayor Reed began his term facing a $48 million budget shortfall; under his leadership, the city has had six years of balanced budgets with no property tax increases, and its cash reserves have grown from $7.4 million to more than $150 million.

Mayor Reed has received numerous accolades since taking office. In 2013, he was ranked among the top 10 most influential African-Americans in the nation by The Root, a publication of the Washington Post Company. He received the Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington D.C. honored him with the Louis E. Martin Great American Award, saying he “heralds a new and creative approach to leadership.” In 2011, Governing Magazine named him as one of the top state and local government officials of the year. Thomas Friedman, the Pulitzer-Prize winning New York Times columnist and author of “That Used to Be Us,” called Reed “inspiring” and labeled him as “one of the best of this new breed of leaders.” In his book “We Can All Do Better,” former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley cited Reed’s straightforward approach in successfully reforming the city’s pension plan and wrote: “We need more of that kind of candor.”

Mayor Reed's civic leadership and service have been nationally recognized on programs such as Meet the Press and on news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, FOX and CNBC, and in publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Delta Sky Magazine. Mayor Reed has been a guest speaker at numerous national and international conferences, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, Chicago Ideas Week, New York Ideas, New Cities Summit, Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America, the Gathering of Leaders and recently delivered his first TED talk at TEDCity2.0.


Mayor Reed serves on a number of advisory committees. He is Chairman of the Transportation and Communications Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Chairman of the Regional Transit Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission. In November 2013, he joined VP Joe Biden to tour the Panama Canal and advocate for the deepening of the Port of Savannah; Georgia’s largest economic development project to date. He is a member of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowship Class of 2007, Leadership Georgia Class of 2000 and Leadership Atlanta Class of 1998.

Prior to his election, Mayor Reed was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1998 and served two terms. From 2002 to 2009, he served in the Georgia State Senate, where he was Vice Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. He is a former partner of Holland and Knight LLP, an international law firm.  He is a graduate of Howard University, where he received his BA and JD degrees and an honorary Doctor of Laws, and was appointed as Howard University's youngest General Trustee in June 2002 and remains a dedicated member of the Board of Trustees.

The mayor lives in the Cascade community of Southwest Atlanta with his wife, Sarah-Elizabeth, and their daughter, Maria Kristan. He is a member of Cascade United Methodist Church.


INVOCATION:  Angela Cassidy
Ambassador Mary Ann Peters, CEO, Carter Center Apr 04, 2017
CONSUL GENERAL LUNCHEON - "Waging Peace, Fighting Disease: Carter Center Mission and Programs"
CONSUL GENERAL LUNCHEON - "Waging Peace, Fighting Disease: Carter Center Mission and Programs"

Ambassador Mary Ann Peters joined The Carter Center on Sept. 1, 2014. As CEO, Ambassador Peters provides vision and leadership for The Carter Center and oversees program implementation and operations.

Ambassador Peters was Provost of the U.S. Naval War College from September 2008 to July 2014. Previously, she served as Dean of Academics at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.  She spent more than 30 years as a career diplomat.  From 2000 to 2003, she served as U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh, leading the Embassy response to the September 11 attack. Prior to her posting in Dhaka, Ambassador Peters was the Deputy Chief of Mission in Ottawa, Canada, responsible for managing the embassy and supervising six U.S. consulates general. From 1995 to 1997, Ambassador Peters served as Director for European and Canadian affairs on the National Security Council staff, where she worked on Northern Ireland peace process. Ambassador Peters’ earlier postings include Sofia, Bulgaria, Moscow during the Soviet era, Rangoon and Mandalay in Burma and Frankfurt, Germany.

Ambassador Peters is a graduate of Santa Clara University and holds an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and Women in International Security and serves of the Boards of the Cetana Educational Foundation and the Task Force for Global Health.

Rev Vince Smith, Pastor, Northside Park Baptist Apr 11, 2017
"The Passover/Easter Covenant: Serving the Homeless of Atlanta"
"The Passover/Easter Covenant: Serving the Homeless of Atlanta"

Vince Smith was born in Alabama and reared in Michigan. He is a graduate of Dallas Baptist College, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1982.

He currently is pastor of the Northside Park Baptist Church in Buckhead, having previously pastored churches in Texas, Mississippi, and Alabama. Most recently he served as Executive Director of Atlanta Union Mission and the Gateway Center.

From 1990 to 2016, his work focused on addressing the issue of homelessness both systemically and individually. He was instrumental in opening five centers in Atlanta that addressed the needs of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness. The successful programs he designed are still being used to help men and women, including veterans and adolescents, move from unemployment to employment, from fractured families to healed families, from addiction to wholeness, and ultimately from homelessness to independent living. His daily focus in Atlanta for more than 26 years was “everyone matters; all people have worth and value in the sight of God.”

Vince is married and the father of three sons and four grandsons. He and his wife live in a century-old family home nestled in the Howell Mill Community.

INVOCATION: Elizabeth Fullerton


TBD Apr 18, 2017
INVOCATION: Michael McPherson
Alicia Philipp, Community Foundation/Greater Atl Apr 25, 2017
Golden Rule Award - "Leading with passion, working with purpose: building our region’s endowment"
Golden Rule Award - "Leading with passion, working with purpose: building our region’s endowment"
ALICIA PHILIPP is president of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, one of the largest and fastest growing philanthropic service organizations in the country. This year she is celebrating her 40th year with the Foundation. When she joined in 1977 its assets were $7 million, today they are approximately $900 million. The Community Foundation strengthens the 23-county Atlanta region by providing quality services to donors and innovative leadership on community issues. They do this by connecting the passions of philanthropists with the purposes of nonprofits doing that work. To that end, in 2015, the Community Foundation received $113 million in gifts from donors and granted out more than $139 million via 6,800 grants to more than 2,900 nonprofits locally, nationally and abroad.
Philipp has served on the board of the Council on Foundations, the Southeastern Council of Foundations, Independent Sector and the National Center on Family Philanthropy. In 2017 she was named to Georgia Trend magazine’s Business Hall of Fame after being on its “100 Most Influential Georgians” list for many years. She has also been named one of the “100 Most Influential Atlantans” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and the ninth most powerful Atlantan by Atlanta magazine.
Philipp received a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a master’s in business administration from Georgia State University. She lives in Decatur and has two adult children, both of whom live in Europe.
INVOCATION:  Clay Prickett
Patrise Perkins-Hooker, Fulton County Attorney May 02, 2017






Chuck Palmer, Partner, Troutman Sanders, May 09, 2017
Update on Bobby Jones Golf Course

Chair, Board of Trustees,  Bobby Jones Golf Course  Foundation

INTRODUCTION:  Mason Stephenson
Debra Edelson, Emerald Corridor May 16, 2017
Lt. Col. Casey Geist and Michael Ward May 23, 2017
Kiwanis and the U.S. Army: Shared Values of Education, Leadership and Service

Memorial Day Program ‐  Lt. Col. Casey Geist  (Georgia Military College)  and Mr. Michael Ward  (Georgia Tech)


INTRODUCTION:  Bill Whitaker
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


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