James.qxp Sept Oct 2018 web (2) - Page 31



A few months into the job, Russell asked Perry
to develop a business plan for his company. “I gave
it to him in October and, on December 1, he turned
over the construction portion of his company to
me. I was 25-years-old.”
Perry refers to Russell as the “consummate
entrepreneur,” someone who was diversied, well
established and someone “who gave me a chance.”
Perry spent 12 years working with Russell,
restructuring the organization in 1988 and later
stepping in to lead all operations. He held that role
until 1992 when he began building his own company.
That marked the beginning of Integral. From early
1980 to late 1992, he helped to grow an Atlanta-based
real estate and construction company into the
nation’s third largest African-American owned
business with annual revenues of about $200 million.
A community development, commercial real
estate and construction professional since 1979,
Egbert Perry has developed and/or built most project
types, including residential, office, retail, institutional
and mixed-use projects. It was in 1994 when Perry
and his partners submitted an RFP for federal
Housing and urban Development funding to revitalize
Techwood. And that was the beginning of the Atlanta
Model of revitalization.
The development includes the innovative
Centennial Charter Academy, where Perry serves as
the chairman of the Board of Directors. A good school
is a critical component of Perry’s model for
neighborhood revitalization. Centennial Charter
started out as a K-5 school and now serves students
in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Perry is also chairman of the Fannie Mae Board of
Directors, chair of the Advisory Board of the Penn
Institute for Urban Research and is a long-time
trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. He served
from 2002 through 2008 as a director of the Federal
Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
He is still hesitant, however, to use the word
“success.”
“I have always had a vision of how much impact I
would have,” the CEO says. “And I am frustrated that I
have only scratched the surface. I think success is a
personal thing, and no one can dene success for you.
It’s all about the people you touch in your lifetime,
and how they carry that forward. That’s how your
footprint becomes permanently placed on this Earth,
and that’s how you impact others. So many times we
focus on our own little space, but we can’t limit our
world view. We are all citizens of this world.” •
Cindy Morley is a staff writer for James magazine and InsiderAdvantage.
30
JAMES
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
W
hen people think of economic impact, the
mind usually races to business, large corporations and privately held companies in
the for-prot world. However, Georgia’s philanthropic
community is one of the unsung players in a healthy,
robust economy.
Every day of the year Atlanta Mission takes a person off the street. Its mission is to solve homelessness by helping those in need nd food, clothing and
shelter and, perhaps most importantly, addressing the
root causes that created the problem.
Nicholas House, another Georgia-based nonprofit that works with homeless families, has a 95
percent success rate of keeping families from going
back on the street.
While major cities such as San Francisco and
Seattle grapple with the dramatic increase of homelessness on their city streets, the number of homeless
people in Atlanta is actually decreasing.
What can one attribute to Georgia’s apparent
success in addressing one of society’s most chronic
challenges?
Georgia is home to a number of the nation’s
largest charitable organizations, including The Task
Force for Global Health and the National Christian
Foundation. Both organizations generated more than
one billion in revenue last year. That’s billion with a
“B,” not millions, and yet few Georgians have ever
heard of either organization.
In fact, the top ve non-prot organizations headquartered in Georgia generated more than $5 billion
in revenue. The other three organizations include the American Cancer
Society, MAP International and CARE
International. The top ve also employ approximately 1,000 Georgians— and that’s just the top ve.
Other well-known, Georgia-based charitable organizations include Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls
Clubs of America and The Carter Center. In fact, there
are thousands of non-prot organizations in the state
SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018
31

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