James Magazine Mar Apr 2020 - Page 6



F LOAT I N G
B OAT S
W H O ’S R I S I N G A N D S I N K I N G I N G E O R G I A B U S I N E S S A N D P O L I T I C S
For its work in the community, Creature Comforts
Brewing Co. was named the recipient of the 2020
goBeyondProfit Champion Award. The popular
Athens-based brewery, through programs such as “Get
Comfortable” and “Get Artistic,” has made community
involvement a “founding pillar of this company” according to CEO Chris Herron. Good beer and good folks at
Creature Comforts have its ship Rising…
A massive Augusta riverfront project appears to be dead
after a falling out between city officials and developer
Bloc Global. The $94 million Riverfront at the Depot
project, meant to draw inspiration from Atlanta’s successful Ponce City Market, has been in the works for four
years. Disagreements arose over the city having to invest
$14 million into the project up front, as well as over a
request for a 180-day extension to close on the riverfront
property. The deadline set by the Augusta Commission
passed for those issues to be resolved, and the project
appears to be Sinking…
Moving their North American HQ’s to Georgia has been a
prudent move for both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, per
their 2019 financial numbers. Mercedes-Benz USA
reported 2019 sales up 1 percent over the previous year,
according to president and CEO Nicholas Speeks.
Meanwhile Porsche Cars North America president
and CEO Klaus Zellmer announced sales on this side of
the Atlantic were up 7.6 percent over 2018. Great news
for the pair of German automobile companies, whose success in their new home of Atlanta has them Rising…
Murder, rape and aggravated assaults were up in Atlanta
in 2019 over the previous year. Atlanta’s crime rate is a
hot topic of debate, especially in the aftermath of Police
Chief Erika Shields publicly announcing a policy of no
more vehicle chases of criminals. Of course, there are also
problems with a not-so-aggressive Fulton County district
attorney (who covers Atlanta) and all too many cases of
lenient bonds for criminals by some Atlanta/Fulton
County judges. Sinking…
Georgia Supreme Court Justice Robert Benham
presided over oral arguments for the last time in
February, as he prepares to retire after nearly 36 years as
a judge. First serving on the Georgia Court of Appeals,
Benham became the state’s first black Supreme Court
Justice in 1989. Big shoes to fill for Gov. Brian Kemp as
he searches for a replacement. As Benham sets sail on a
well-deserved retirement, his ship is Rising…
Krystal, the Atlanta-based burger chain loved by latenight eaters, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
in an attempt to restructure and deal with between $50
million and $100 million in outstanding debts. Founded in
Chattanooga in 1932, the nation’s second oldest fast food
chain moved its corporate headquarters to metro Atlanta
in 2013. Financial difficulties forced Krystal to close nearly
50 stores in recent months, but it still operates in 10 states
and employs more than 6,500 workers. The bankruptcy
hopefully isn’t the end for the South’s oldest fast-food
chain, but it certainly has Krystal’s ship Sinking…
It seems like every week there is another eye-popping
press release from the Georgia Ports Authority, which
continues to break shipping records and expand at a
feverish pace. Recently announced was the acquisition of
145 contiguous acres near the Port of Savannah,
enough to accommodate over 1 million additional shipping containers. It is the largest addition of storage space
in more than 20 years, and all but guarantees that 2020
will bring another round of shattered records. The Ports
Authority continues to have the state’s ship Rising…
Atlanta Public Schools administrators voted to get rid
of Columbus Day— or at least the name. The traditional
holiday, October 12, would still be honored but be
renamed a so-called “Indigenous Peoples’ Day,” which
some prefer over remembering Christopher Columbus,
the Italian explorer who is attacked for “mistreatment” of
native inhabitants. The move is expected to be finalized
soon— meaning Columbus’ ship is Sinking…
Georgia’s colonial founders were trustees who laid the
foundations for governance and public service. They disbanded after fulfilling the British king’s instructions, but
the “trustee” tradition of a select group motivated by selfless service is saluted two-and-a-half centuries later by
the Georgia Historical Society. Bestowing the title is
ceremonial but is a welcomed recognition of Georgians
who embody the guiding principle of the colonial
trustees: Not for self but for others. This year’s newlyinducted trustees are Savannah businessman/philanthropist Robert Jepson and Atlanta architect/civic
leader Robert Brown Jr. Rising…
MARCH/APRIL 2020
7

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