‘The place Atlanta started’: Central Atlanta Progress honors awards recipients and appears to yr forward in downtown improvement

​​Atlanta’s main enterprise, financial improvement and political gamers packed into the newly-opened Signia by Hilton lodge on the Georgia World Congress Heart on Jan. 31 for the 2024 Central Atlanta Progress and Atlanta Downtown Enchancment District annual assembly and awards ceremony. 

CAP is a nonprofit group devoted to making a “secure, livable, numerous, economically viable, accessible, clear, hospitable and entertaining” downtown space. Central Atlanta Progress consists of firms, native companies, regional leaders and civic teams. The Atlanta Downtown Enchancment District, created by CAP, is a public-private partnership that creates a neighborhood enchancment district. 

Central Atlanta Progress President AJ Robinson mentioned the realm is town’s future and “the place Atlanta started.”

“No different space can declare it; we’ve been at it longer than anyone else,” Robinson mentioned. 

The luncheon checked out downtown Atlanta mission progress in 2023 and plans for the approaching years, notably forward of being a number metropolis for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Boston Consulting Group tasks will generate over $400 million in financial advantages for town.

Robinson mentioned it’s key that folks understand that “downtown is for everybody.” 

Yearly, the assembly additionally honors a number of award recipients by way of CAP and ADID. Central Atlanta Progress awarded the Marcus Downtown Financial Affect Award, The Warner Bros. Discovery Group Management Award and the Dan & Tally Sweat Award. 

On the Jan. 31 luncheon, Georgia-Pacific acquired the financial impression award, which is given to an individual, firm or mission that helped to revitalize downtown Atlanta. The company has funded restorations for the Oakland Cemetery Guests Heart and the Nationwide Heart for Civil and Human Rights and has labored with the native Habitat for Humanity.

CAP gave the Atlanta native and co-founder of Atlanta Influences All the pieces Bem Joiner the neighborhood management award. As chief of the model and artistic company, Joiner goals to harness town’s affect to positively impression communities. 

Craig Jones, the board chair of the Atlanta Downtown Enchancment District for the previous 20 years, acquired the Sweat Award for being devoted to “doing the fitting factor” for downtown. As board chair, he works with nonprofits within the metropolis to develop and revitalize the realm. 

ADID additionally gave out a number of awards: Ambassador of the 12 months went to Lorne Coleman, who was honored for his dedication to representing the group’s ambassador power in public occasions and conferences. William Lawson received Public Area Clear Worker of the 12 months for his 14 years of service to the “clear workforce,” and Rodney Wolfe received Homeless Outreach Worker of the 12 months. 

Officers Ayesha Abdul-Hakeem and Ariel McDonald have been honored because the Atlanta Police Division Zone 5 Officers of the 12 months. 

Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens credited the organizations with serving to Atlanta’s fast progress and financial improvement. 

“That is what shifting ahead appears to be like like,” Dickens mentioned. 

The mayor additionally careworn the significance of collaboration on large-scale tasks — calling Atlanta a “group mission.”

In 2023, CAP and ADID made strides with ongoing mission “The Sew,” geared toward reuniting town’s downtown linked with a “cap” over the house, in addition to a multimillion-dollar funding in transportation and public house that kicked off with a protected bicycle lane on MLK Jr. Drive and sidewalk growth on Courtland Avenue. 

The world has additionally seen main tasks just like the Signia Lodge, the place the assembly was hosted, or the continuing work on the $5 billion Centennial Yards improvement that can create tens of millions of sq. toes in retail, inns, workplace house and residences. 

Towards the top of the assembly, CAP employees honored Wilma Sothern, the longtime Vice President of Advertising and marketing at Central Atlanta Progress. Sothern was the longest-working employees particular person at CAP and spent 23 years because the advertising vice chairman. 

The CAP workforce shocked Sothern with a tackle the phrase “Atlanta Influences All the pieces,” rewriting it to say “Wilma Influenced All the pieces” by way of her many years of communications work. 

Longtime Atlanta Journal-Structure political cartoonist Mike Luckovich additionally introduced a commissioned cartoon to Sothern, asserting her retirement among the many high-rise buildings that enhance downtown.

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