Dr. Joe Whorton
Executive Director, Georgia Rural
Mr. James Peoples
Associate Director, Georgia Rural
Ms. Robin Meyer
Director, Housing Finance Division,
Georgia Department of Community Affairs
Dr. Beverly L. Hall
Dr. Beverly L. Hall began her tenure as Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools on July 1, 1999. Previously, she held the position of State District Superintendent of the Newark Public Schools, the largest school district in the state of New Jersey. Prior to the New Jersey appointment, Dr. Hall served as Deputy Chancellor for Instruction for the New York City Public Schools. She has a wealth of experience in the field of education, including as Superintendent of Community School District 27 in Queens, New York and as Principal of both Junior High School 113 and Public School 282 in Brooklyn, NY.
Dr. Hall received her Bachelor’s degree in English and her Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. She received her Doctor of Education degree in 1990 from Fordham University.
Dr. Hall is a member of the Advisory Board of the Harvard Urban Superintendents Program and serves as a mentor Superintendent to participants in the doctoral program. She has been a presenter at the conferences of many local, statewide, and national organizations, among them the Council of Great City Schools; the Seton Hall University Educational Administrators Doctoral Program; the American Education Research Association; the Harvard University School of Education, Urban Superintendents Program; the Institute for Education and Social Policy at New York University; and the Fordham University Principals Leadership Institute.
Her most recent awards and honors include The Brooklyn College Distinguished Achievement Award in April 2000, from the Brooklyn College Alumni Association, and the Year 2000 Diva Award, given by Atlanta’s Business to Business magazine for recognition as one of Atlanta’s most dynamic women in business and public affairs. In 1998, Dr. Hall was honored by the Congressional Black Caucus as part of its tribute to the “Most Challenged School Superintendents in America.” She was also invited to participate in the Van Andel Educators Institute and was designated a Woman of Courage by the Nestle Corporation. Her other awards include the 1993 Sloan Public Service Award from the Fund for the City of New York; the Distinguished Educator Award for 1992 from the New York City Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development; Phi Delta Kappa Honor Society Distinguished Dissertation Award; the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Queens County Section Award; the W.E.B. DuBois Scholars Institute Award; the Newark Municipal Council Great Achiever Award; the Educational Leadership Award of the New Jersey Coalition of Educational Leaders; the Regional Plan Association New Jersey Committee Award for Excellence in Educational Leadership / Northeast Coalition of Educational Leadership; Leadership Award of the New York University Administrators Roundtable; and the Concerned Citizens Many Faces—One Family Award of the University of Medicine and Dentistry.
Dr. Hall and her husband Luis have a son, Jason, who is a graduate of St. Johns University.
Ms. Shirley Franklin
Shirley Clarke Franklin spent her childhood years in West Philadelphia where she attended Dunlap Elementary and Sayre Junior High Schools before she graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls in 1963. An active youth member of Saint Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church throughout her childhood years, she participated in the Girls Scouts and Jack and Jill Club as well. Her love for the arts, especially the performing arts, began early in life as a dance student at the diverse cultural institutions. Shirley credits her parents and family with instilling in her the responsibility each of us has to make this world a better place for each and every citizen through community and public service. Her late father, Eugene Clarke, was a life-long Philadelphian, and her grandparents, Ruth and Dan White and Anne Clarke, remain active Philadelphia residents.
Committed to public service for over two decades and a proven leader, Shirley’s career in public administration began in 1978. She served as the city of Atlanta’s Chief Administrative Officer during Mayor Andrew Young’s administration. There, Shirley was responsible for all daily operations of a city that was a $1 billion public corporation with nearly 7,000 employees. She also was charged with guiding the development of Atlanta during a historically productive period, which saw the construction of a fourth runway at Hartsfield International Airport, a new city hall, a new municipal court building, and 14,000 net housing units.
During the administration of Mayor Maynard Jackson, Shirley served as Executive Officer for Operations and Commissioner of Cultural Affairs.
Shirley joined The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as senior vice president for external relations in 1991. While in this position, she assisted on the planning team for Centennial Olympic Park and negotiated on behalf of ACOG with labor unions, various constituent groups, civil rights organizations, and environmentalists.
In 1997, Shirley formed Shirley Clarke Franklin and Associates, a management consulting firm for public affairs, community affairs, and strategic planning. In 1998, she became a majority partner in Urban Environmental Solutions, LLC.
Following Governor Roy Barnes’ election in 1998, Shirley served on his three-person transition team. In 1999, she accepted Gov. Barnes’ invitation to serve on the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority, where her peers elected her vice-chair. In April 2000, Shirley resigned from GRTA and officially declared her candidacy for Mayor of Atlanta.
Shirley continues to play an active role in our community by serving on several boards and committees. She is a member of the Democratic National Committee and is actively involved in the GOTV efforts for the 2000 elections. Appointed by Governor Barnes in 1998, Shirley is the Treasurer of the Democratic Party of Georgia. Other board affiliations include the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Spelman College, East Lake Community Foundation, Charles Drew Charter School, National Black Arts Festival, and the King Baudouin–US Foundation. She has also served on the boards of United Way, Paideia School, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Community Foundation, Georgia State Arts Council, and the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
She has received numerous awards and honors during her career, including the 1995 Legacy Award from the Big Brothers–Big Sisters of Metro-Atlanta and the 1996 Woman of the Year Award from the YWCA. Shirley has also received awards from the League of Women Voters and the Abercrombie Lamp of Learning Award.
Shirley earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Howard University and continued her education in Sociology and earned her Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Shirley has lived in southwest Atlanta for nearly 30 years and has three adult children.
Mr. Lawrence Anderson
Lawrence began his career in Detroit, Michigan, working for the Foundation for Cooperative Housing (FCH), the largest developer of housing in the US. At FCH Lawrence worked as a development specialist, where he learned the basis of real estate financing. The last four years at FHC was spent as a regional director of property management, where Lawrence learned the basic concepts of property management.
In 1976 Lawrence moved to Washington DC where, after leaving FCH in 1979, hr began working for the Housing Assistance Council (HAC). During his tenure at HAC Lawrence directed a HAC subsidiary, Rural Housing Service (RHS). RHS was HAC’s syndication arm and was first to use the Economic Recovery Tax Act to syndicate rural rental project using the Farmers Home Administrative 515 program. After 1986 RHS used the Low Income Housing Tax Credit to syndicate rural rental projects.
In 1989 Lawrence Joined Consumers United Insurance Company (CUIC) and headed its real estate investment subsidiary. While at CUIC Lawrence helped to restructure the insurance company’s direct investment in real estate mortgages through securitization.
In 1993 Lawrence joined the Enterprise Social Investment Corporation (ESIC). While at ESIC Lawrence managed a $55 million investment fund. The fund bought Low Income Housing Tax Credits from for-profit and not-for-profit developers of affordable housing across the country. This position required an understanding of real estate development as well as real estate financing. During his time at ESIC Lawrence was able to place over $26 million in equity investments.
In 1994 Lawrence joined the Enterprise Foundation as Director of the Atlanta local office. Lawrence has built the Atlanta program from the ground up. During his term in Atlanta, The Enterprise Foundation has granted over $2 million in grants, made over $4 million in low investment loan, conducted over 15 workshops, and provided project specific technical assistance resulting in the construction of project valued at over $50 million.
Mr. Charlie Brown
Charles is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Building Construction from the College of Architecture. He practiced architecture a short time before entering the commercial real estate field in Atlanta. Since that time, Charles has been involved in the practice of the real estate profession in the metro Atlanta area as well as engaging in brokerage services, consulting, and marketing in the Southeast, nationally, and internationally.
His experience includes management, marketing, and development of commercial, office, industrial, and residential properties. He has served as an officer in the four firms with which he has been associated. After 20 years as President of Technology Park / Atlanta, Inc., Charles is now on the Board of Directors and is still involved in policy matters. Just prior to joining Technology Park / Atlanta, he was director of marketing and project manager for one of the South’s largest multi-use complexes, Atlanta Center, a 2,000,000 square-foot Hilton Hotel, Trust Company Bank, office, shopping project in the central business district of Atlanta in which he was involved in the design, construction, and occupancy of not only the largest, but one of the first, data centers in the Southeast.
Charles, President of CRB Realty Associates, is now working with Jacoby Development, Inc., as President of Atlantic Station, L.L.C., on the Atlantic Steel redevelopment project, Atlantic Station. It is a 15 million sq. ft. live-work-play mixed-use community, covering an area of 138 acres at the nexus of Interstate Highways 75 and 85 in Midtown Atlanta.
Mr. Jim Durrett
Mr. Durrett has extensive environmental, transportation, and growth management experience, including his role as the founder of the Smart Growth
Partnership, which links the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Tech, the Urban Land Institute, and The Georgia Conservancy in their efforts to promote responsible land use in Atlanta. He most recently served as Vice President for Environmental Affairs at the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Prior to joining the Chamber in 1998, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Georgia Conservancy. He is a Georgia-registered professional geologist, has his graduate degree in geology from the University of Georgia, and earned his undergraduate degree in economics in 1979 from the University of Virginia.
Mr. Charles Krautler
Charles “Chick” Krautler assumed the position of Director of the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) on March 22, 2000. As head of the official metropolitan planning organization for the 10-county, 64-city Atlanta region, he oversees and directs regional planning programs in the areas
of transportation, air quality, the environment, land use, water supply and quality, aging services, and workforce development.
Before coming to ARC, Mr. Krautler was President of the Triangle J Council of Governments, in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, where he was
responsible for the six-county governments and 30 municipal governments that make up the research triangle region. Mr. Krautler also served as
the Chief Executive Officer of the World Trade Center North Carolina and Executive Director of the Greater Triangle Regional Council—two
organizations to which Triangle J provides administrative services.
Prior to his North Carolina position, Mr. Krautler was the Executive Director of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. He previously served as
the Executive Vice President of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and the Manager of Public Affairs for the Washington Gas Light Company.
Mr. Krautler is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) as the
First Vice Chair of the Executive Directors Committee; the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO); the International
City / County Management Association (ICMA); the Southeastern Regional Directors Institute (SERDI); the Regional Leadership Institute (RLI); and
the Regional Leadership Foundation (RLF).
Mr. Krautler received both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from East Carolina University. He and his wife are currently house-hunting in
Atlanta and have two grown children.
Mr. Sam Williams
As President of the Metro Chamber, Sam A. Williams’ first order of business after being tapped to the post was to focus the Chamber on a post-Olympic agenda. He assembled the best business and civic minds, who determined what that course should be: Quality Jobs, Quality of Life, Balanced Growth, and Service to Members. He focused economic development efforts on the quality jobs of high technology—the Industries of the Mind campaign. The campaign to grow and retain the best high-tech workers and make Atlanta one of the top five high-tech centers in the nation is a five-year goal of the Chamber.
Another key initiative begun under Williams’ leadership is a region-wide task force of business, academic, and environmental leaders organized in 1998 to propose a dramatic regional approach to transportation planning and management. As a result, the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority was created in March 1999 and has been acknowledged nationwide as an innovative solution to regional transportation, gridlock, and suburban sprawl. In 1999, the Chamber continued its public policy agenda with a focus on improving the public school systems in metro Atlanta through its aggressive support of the Governor’s Education Reform Study Commission. This will be a top legislative lobbying effort for the General Assembly in January 2000. The Chamber works in close partnership with other business and economic development organizations to foster regional cooperation in its efforts to help balance growth across the metro area.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Williams was President of Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) for two years, where he organized downtown leaders to create a privatized police force that cut crime in half and led to a resurgence in downtown living. During his tenure, 1,000 new loft apartments were built in the City’s heart, and CAP led in creating a long-range plan for redevelopment of the area around Centennial Olympic Park.
For 21 years Williams was a partner with John Portman in all aspects of real estate development in the U.S., Middle East, and Asia. During that time, he was President of the Merchandise Mart complex, oversaw Peachtree Center’s office building expansion, and eventually became Chief Operating Officer of the parent organization, The Portman Companies. He led the business team, working with 32 banks and law firms to restructure Portman’s $2 billion capitalization, completed in 1994. He left the private real estate world for civic leadership to help make a difference in Atlanta’s future.
Williams’ civic career began, however, in 1967, on the staff of Mayor Ivan Allen. Since then, he has chaired the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Jekyll Island Authority; was founding chair of the Atlanta World Trade Club; was a member of the Carter Center Board of Councilors; the National Council on Philanthropy; the Action Forum, a biracial committee of top-level CEOs who foster racial cooperation in Atlanta; the Emory University Board of Visitors; the Georgia Tech Board of Advisors; and the Corporation for Olympic Development in Atlanta. Williams is a graduate of Georgia Tech and Harvard Business School and is a native of Tennessee. He has two daughters, Stephanie, a recent graduate of Colgate College, and Lindsay, at Washington & Lee University.
Ms. Jamie Cochran
The Georgia Regional Transportation Authority looked to the neighboring state of Florida for a key member of its team when Jamie Cochran was named Director of Planning and Chief Program Officer in May 2000.
Cochran serves two functions at GRTA. As Director of the Planning, she focuses on the GRTA board’s responsibilities as the Governor’s Development Council (GDC). As Chief Program Officer, she is responsible for the administrative functions of the Authority.
Cochran has more than 25 years of experience in transportation planning, public transportation, and program management, working in both the public and private sectors in Florida. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
During more than 17 years with the Florida Department of Transportation, Cochran served as the Public Transportation Operations Manager in southeast Florida and central Florida. She managed inter-county express bus services and the development of the State’s first regional commuter assistance program, and she served as the district manager for Florida’s first commuter rail service “Tri-Rail,” which serves the highly developed corridor from West Palm Beach to Miami.
The $330 million Tri-Rail project was especially noteworthy because it was planned and put into operation in less than three years. Tri-Rail used funding from the Federal Highway Administration for its operation and involved the purchase of a private railroad corridor by the state. The system observed its 10th anniversary in 1999.
Cochran also has managed major public involvement activities for highway and public transportation projects throughout Florida, including the expansion of the I-4 corridor through Orlando and the expansion of the I-95 and I-595 corridors in Broward and Palm Beach Counties. In the Fort Lauderdale district, Cochran was responsible for developing a $1.8 billion, five-year work program of highway, bus and rail transit, aviation, port, and intermodal projects. Her work involved extensive coordination with the public, metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, transit operators, airport managers, and port and intermodal terminal operators.
In addition to her work at FDOT, Cochran has served as a consultant to public agencies. Some of her projects included the development of a downtown transit circulator system for the City of St. Augustine—America’s oldest settlement. She played a key role in the development of Florida’s 2020 Intrastate Highway System Plan—a detailed strategy for protecting and developing the major interstate and inter-regional highways in Florida and handling growing freight demands. Cochran also developed a catalog of over 60 potential funding sources for public transportation in the Tampa Bay area.
“For someone with my background in planning and public transportation, Atlanta is a wonderful place to be right now,” says Cochran. “The future here is very bright for innovation in planning, providing public transportation services to the public in new and exciting ways, and leaving a positive legacy.”
Mr. Herman J. Russell
Herman J. Russell is a native of Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in the Summerhill community, one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods.
As a child, he learned about the business from his father, a plasterer. At the age of 12, Russell was already an accomplished trademan. Russell purchased his first parcel of land at 16 years old for $125.00. He later built a duplex on the property and used his savings to help pay his tuition at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
Upon graduation from Tuskegee, Russell returned to Atlanta and worked alongside his father in the business. Many of Russell’s early projects were located in the residential areas of Atlanta. His reputation for delivering quality service is one of Russell’s trademarks, thus allowing him to compete in the industry. After the death of his father in 1957, Russell took hold of the reins of the Company to continue its growth and to build a bigger and stronger enterprise.
Initially, he focused on the construction of duplexes and quickly moved on to build four- and eight-unit apartments. Eventually, Russell was building 400-and 500-unit complexes. Since that time, Russell has moved the 43-year-old company on to greater heights by helping create Atlanta’s skyline. Many of his projects are major landmarks in Atlanta. His work with major Fortune 500 companies such as Georgia-Pacific, Delta Airlines, Atlanta Gas Light Company, Georgia Power, and The Coca-Cola Company has kept the Russell name in the forefront in Atlanta. Russell’s company blueprint is also built into the permanent walls of locations in Atlanta, such as the Atlanta City Hall Complex, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, the Carter Presidential Center, the Georgia Dome Stadium, the Olympic Stadium, and the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby Academic Center at Spelman College.
You can look throughout Atlanta, Birmingham, and the Southeast to see the Russell umbrella. The umbrella signifies a conglomerate of businesses in four principal areas: construction (general contracting), construction / program management, real estate development, and property and asset management. To further diversify its business, Russell has other interest in airport concessions. The company employs nearly 700 people and has annual sales over $150 million. Black Enterprise Magazine ranks his company as the fourth largest minority Industrial / Service Company in the United States.
Although committed to his business endeavors, Russell makes time in his busy schedule for the community. In 1963, Russell became a mover and shaker in molding the future of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce by becoming its first black member, and later president. He is very active in many local, state, and national charitable and educational organizations. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Citizens Trust Bank, Georgia Power, Georgia Cable TV & Communications, Wachovia Corporation, and the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.
Russell’s hard work has earned him numerous accolades. He was inducted into the Junior Achievement “1992 Atlanta Business Hall of Fame,” a recipient of the “1991 Horatio Alger Award” and named “1990 Entrepreneur of the Year” by the National MBA Association.
Russell is also a philanthropist at heart and generously gives back to his community in many ways. He strongly believes that the future generation is looking for positive role models. He is the founder of the Herman J. Russell Entrepreneurial Scholarship Foundation, Inc., for the M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in Atlanta.
An avid supporter of Atlanta and its youth, Russell often shares with young people the secrets of his success. He advises, “Equip yourself well. Whatever you want to be, give 500 percent to that effort. Be honest to yourself and others. Always remember there is no substitute for hard work and sacrifices.”
Russell is indeed a family man. He is married to Otelia Hackney Russell. They have two sons, H. Jerome, Jr., and Michael, and one daughter, Donata Major.
Herman Jerome Russell has given 500 percent to his efforts. His hard work, perseverance, and dedication to the community has earned him a place as a leader.
Mr. Thomas G. Cousins
Thomas G. Cousins, after graduating from the Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, in 1948, the University of Georgia in 1952, and after serving in the United States Air Force, founded Cousins Properties Incorporated in 1958.
Cousins Properties had a total stock market capitalization at the end of 2000 of $1.4 billion and is one of the larger equity Real Estate Investment Trusts in the country. Cousins Properties developed such landmarks in Atlanta as the CNN Center, the Omni Coliseum, 191 Peachtree Tower, Bank of America Plaza, and Wildwood Office Park in Cobb County. The company donated the land, provided the preliminary architectural drawings, and guaranteed the construction cost for the first stage of the World Congress Center, Georgia’s world-class convention and meeting facility. Current corporate projects include office buildings and shopping centers in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Alabama, California, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. The firm has joint venture relationships with The Coca-Cola Company, IBM, Bank of America, Temple-Inland, and Emory University.
Mr. Cousins is on the boards of Total System Services, Inc., the Georgia Research Alliance, and Emory University. He previously has served on the boards of NationsBank (now Bank of America), First Union, and Shaw Industries. He has served as president of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and is a member of its board of trustees. He has chaired the University of Georgia Foundation and has been awarded an honorary degree from the University. He serves as Chairman of the CF Foundation and is a member of its board of trustees.
Mr. Cecil Phillips
Cecil Phillips is Managing Partner of Place Collegiate Properties, L.P., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also President of Place Collegiate Properties Company, the corporate general partner of Place Collegiate Properties, L.P.
Mr. Phillips was born and raised in Missouri and has lived in Atlanta since 1971. He received his Bachelor’s degree with honors in Diplomatic History from the University of Missouri in 1968 and his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1971.
From 1971 to 1979, Mr. Phillips was an associate and then partner in the Atlanta law firm of Alston & Bird. From 1979 to 1983, he was Special Assistant and Executive Assistant to the Governor of Georgia.
In 1984, Mr. Phillips founded Phillips International (the predecessor to Place Collegiate Properties). That firm specialized in U.S. real estate and corporate finance opportunities for its clients. The real estate projects financed and developed by the firm and its clients included on-campus and off-campus student housing at major U.S. colleges and universities, medical office buildings, shopping centers, multi-family housing projects, hotels, golf courses, resorts, and residential developments, as well as land held for commercial and recreational development.
The corporate finance investments made by the firm and its clients included banks, savings and loan associations, hotel and property management companies, and health care. In addition, Mr. Phillips has been the principal in the development of hotels, student housing projects, and high-rise multi-family projects.
Mr. Phillips has also financed, developed, and overseen the development of more than 18,000 bedrooms of on-campus and off-campus housing at 19 different campuses, including a hotel conversion to student housing in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, his firm won, in a joint venture, the RFP by the Georgia Board of Regents to finance and build on-campus student housing at Southern Polytechnic University. The nonrecourse financing structure (which took more than three years to get approved by State government) utilized a tax-exempt issuer, an unrelated tax-exempt owner, and an unsuboordinated ground lease from the State.
Mr. Phillips has served on the Board of Directors of publicly held financial institutions, including serving as Chair of a publicly held federally-chartered bank holding company.
Mr. Phillips has also recently served as a member of the Board of Directors of Research Atlanta, Inc., and the Georgia Lottery Corporation, and as Chair of the Board of Visitors at Emory University. Mr. Phillips is a Commissioner and Chair of the Atlanta Housing Authority, Chair of the Dean’s Council of the Emory University School of Public Health, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Howard School, and serves on the Board of Visitors of the Rabun Gap–Nagoochee School. In 1995, Mr. Phillips was appointed by the Governor of Georgia to chair the Georgia Policy Council on Children and Families. In 1997, Mr. Philips was elected a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Mr. Phillips is married. He and his wife, Carol, have three daughters, Megan, Chesley, and Lydia.
Mr. Egbert Perry
Egbert L. J. Perry was born in Antigua, West Indies, and is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Integral Group, LLC (“Integral”), a holding company with subsidiaries that specialize in real estate and construction management.
An honors graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Perry received both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University’s Towne School, and a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Finance and Accounting from its Wharton School. In 1990, he was elected as the eleventh graduate to be named to the “Gallery of Distinguished Engineering Alumni” of the University’s Engineering School.
Perry has had over 22 years of experience in real estate development, general construction, construction management, and program management. Prior to forming Integral, he led the management and operations of a major southeastern company.
He is recognized and an innovator in his field, and is particularly noted for his exceptional leadership in structuring and implementing public / private development partnerships that have stimulated growth and development.
Active in a number of civic, corporate, and community organizations, Perry serves or has served on the boards of United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, University of Pennsylvania, Atlanta International School, National Housing Center, and The Trust for Public Land.
Ms. Carol Naughton
Carol Redmond Naughton is the General Counsel and Deputy Executive Director for Legal and Nonprofit Affairs for The Housing Authority of the City of Atlanta, Georgia (AHA). She serves as a key member of the leadership team responsible for the metamorphosis of AHA from a failing agency in danger of a federal takeover to an agency that is today recognized as a “high performing” agency and a leader in the reinvention of public housing. Ms. Naughton heads the team responsible for all of AHA’s legal needs and nonprofit issues and has a particular expertise in real estate development and finance issues. She joined AHA in July 1995 as Senior Attorney, was promoted to Deputy General Counsel in May 1996, and was asked to head the newly formed Real Estate Development Division in December 1996. She was elevated to her current position in February 1998. As both a lawyer and businessperson, Ms. Naughton has played an instrumental role in the revitalization of traditional public housing communities into economically viable, self-sustaining, mixed-income communities.
Prior to joining AHA, Ms. Naughton was engaged in the private practice of law with Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan’s real estate group, where she primarily represented developers, lenders, and asset managers. She is a 1986 graduate of the Emory University School of Law and was Executive Editor of the Emory Law Journal. She graduated cum laude from Colgate University in 1982. Ms. Naughton is a former president of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is a former member of the Board of Governors of that organization. She is a member of the Real Property and Probate Section and Affordable Housing Forum of the American Bar Association. She speaks frequently on affordable housing and public housing issues.
Ms. Joni Brooks
Joni Brooks brings over 20 years of experience in public finance and real estate development to her work on public housing revitalization efforts. Brooks has been involved in the HOPE VI Revitalization Program since 1995 as a consultant or developer on numerous successful HOPE VI projects. She was a member of the team that created the HOPE VI guidebook used by housing authorities and developers that are undertaking HOPE VI projects.
Currently, Brooks directs D+B’s consulting and development activities on projects nationwide. Her work includes advising public housing authorities on structuring financial transactions; participating in joint-venture developer teams; and serving on a program management teams for the implementation of large-scale public housing revitalization efforts. For example, for the Philadelphia Housing Authority, she leads D+B in providing a variety of financial consulting services, including assisting in the planning of the revitalization of the PHA’s large scattered site-portfolio, and assisting the PHA in planning a tax-exempt bond transaction leveraging a portion of PHA capital funds to obtain funding for various revitalization and modernization activities.
In Denver, Brooks is D+B’s partner-in-charge of the firm’s activities as a member of the joint-venture developer of the Curtis Park / Arapahoe mixed-income, mixed-finance HOPE VI revitalization. D+B has been responsible for creating the project’s financial structure, including tax-exempt bond financing with FHA mortgage insurance and tax credits.
For the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA), Brooks leads D+B’s work as part of the program management team that is providing broad range of development consulting services, assisting the RRHA in implementing the Blackwell Homes HOPE VI revitalization project.
Prior to forming D+B, Brooks established and directed the public housing consulting practice at HR&A. Before joining HR&A, she directed debt issuance and mortgage underwriting departments at the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the New York State Housing Finance Agency (HFA). As Director of Housing Finance for the New York State HFA, she supervised housing development unit activities, including new program development.
Mr. Raymond R. Christman
Raymond R. Christman is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, a $80 billion wholesale funding bank, which serves over 1,150 financial institutions across seven states and the District of Columbia. The Bank’s primary business is to provide funding and other financial services and products to these member institutions in support of housing, community development, and related activities.
Mr. Christman became President of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta in July 1999. Prior to joining the Bank, he served as President of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, a regional business association of 1,700 companies whose mission is to foster the growth of the technology economy of the Pittsburgh region. During this period, Mr. Christman also served as President of an affiliated organization, the Southwestern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (SPIRC), a private, not-for-profit economic development corporation created to improve the competitive performance of small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies in the region. In addition to these responsibilities, Mr. Christman was Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh from 1994 to 1999.
Mr. Christman served as Secretary of Commerce for the state of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1991, in the administration of Governor Robert P. Casey, leading the state’s efforts to create jobs and attract business to the state. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh and also worked for several Pittsburgh region non-profit planning and development organizations.
Since arriving in Atlanta, Mr. Christman has taken on responsibilities with several regional civic and business organizations. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Midtown Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging development and improving the quality of life in the Midtown area of the city of Atlanta. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership and the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation. He is a member of the Atlanta Metro Chamber’s “Industries of the Mind” Steering Committee.
A native of the Pittsburgh area, Mr. Christman holds an undergraduate degree in Business from Florida State University and a Master’s degree from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He is married to the former Eileen Hoffman, an attorney, and has three children.
Ms. Mtamanika Youngblood
Mtamanika Youngblood is President of the Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC), Atlanta’s leading non-profit, community-based builder of affordable homes in the central city. HDDC is committed to neighborhood revitalization based on historic preservation and economic diversity. Its goal is to reestablish the mixed-income residential community that once thrived around Sweet Auburn Avenue and the childhood home of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ms. Youngblood was appointed HDDC Executive Director in 1993 after six years as a volunteer on the organization’s board of directors. Under her leadership, HDDC has become one of the most prolific and admired producers of affordable, single-family homes in neighborhoods surrounding downtown Atlanta. HDDC builds new, single-family homes targeted to moderate-income families, renovates affordable multi-family units, and rehabilitates traditional single-family homes ranging from simple shotgun houses to elegant Victorians.
As a community-based developer, HDDC has built strong links to neighborhood organizations and homeowner groups in the area in which it works. Through discussion and collaboration with local residents Ms. Youngblood has helped develop innovative new strategies for community revitalization by combining the mixed-income concept with historic preservation. Among these strategies are a firm policy of non-displacement of current neighborhood residents, and a block-by-block pattern of development that emphasizes scale and the sustainability of improvements.
To compliment the housing resurgence now underway Mtamanika Youngblood is guiding HDDC toward developing commercial projects intended to spur economic growth. Studioplex on Auburn is a mixed-use arts facility that combines 112 residential artist lofts with commercial and retail development. The Herndon Plaza Expansion Project is a mixed-use development that combines commercial offices with a restaurant and cultural attractions. Both these projects involve the adaptive re-use of important historic buildings.
HDDC and Ms. Youngblood have been widely recognized and lauded for their work. Awards and acknowledgments have come from The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Atlanta Urban Design Commission, Atlanta magazine, and the State of Georgia Affordable Housing Division. In addition to her work at HDDC, Ms. Youngblood serves on the board of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, the United Way of Greater Atlanta, the Community Housing Resource Center, and the Atlanta Preservation Center. She is an Urban Land Institute Inner City Advisor and a Vice President for Economic Development on the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority’s Executive Policy Committee. Ms. Youngblood earned an MBA in management science from Atlanta University and was sponsored by the Fannie Mae Foundation as a Fellow to the Kennedy School of Government Executive Program at Harvard University. Most recently, the Fannie Mae Foundation has selected Ms. Youngblood as a 2000 James A. Johnson Community Fellow.
She lives in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood in a restored 110-year-old historic home.
Dr. Joe Whorton
Joe Whorton is Director of Georgia’s Rural Development Council. Dr. Whorton’s public service career spans over 30 years and has been devoted to promoting quality community and economic development at the local and regional level. He is principal facilitator for the Directorate of the American Planning Association’s Growing Smart project. He designed the group decision process that led to Georgia’s Growth Strategies Law and most recently served as lead facilitator to Georgia’s Future Communities Commission. He also designed and facilitated the decision process that led to the successful consolidation of Athens, Clarke County, Georgia. He is former editor of the State and Local Government Review and founder and co-editor of The Regionalist, a journal promoting regional problem solving.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Saint Mary’s Health Systems, the State Housing Trust Fund for the Homeless, and the Region 5 Advisory Council to the Georgia Departments of Industry, Trade and Tourism, and Community Affairs. He is a Fellow of the Institute for the Regional Community, and served as chair of the Growth Strategies Reassessment Task Force. He has been awarded the Red Atherton Award for service to Georgia’s local governments; the Distinguished Alumni Award from Rockefeller College of SUNY, Albany; and the James E. Webb research award from the American Society for Public Administration.
He received his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma and his doctorate in Organization Behavior from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the State University of New York Albany.
Mr. James Peoples
James Peoples (a native Atlantan) began his career in State Government working as a Committee Assistant in the Georgia General Assembly with the Senate Rules Committee. From there, James developed an interest in state governmental policy and economic development and relocated to Augusta, Georgia, where he worked for the CSRA Regional Development Center. While at the RDC, James assisted cities and counties with various community and economic development projects. As its Senior Project Developer, James helped local governments with grant writing and grants management—identifying resources for major development projects—and strategic planning. James also worked closely with the federally designated CSRA Enterprise Community (EC) as the RDC’s lead liaison with the EC Board. He also assisted the EC in implementation of its strategic plan. In 1996, James led the RDC’s efforts in securing funding for capitalizing a Micro-Enterprise Revolving Loan Fund, which he managed. James was in charge of everything from marketing the loan program to collecting payments. He helped clients with business plan development, credit counseling and credit analysis, deal structuring, loan closings, and post loan monitoring.
In 1998, then Governor Zell Miller announced the creation of 11 State Regional Development Offices across Georgia. These offices would house staff from the Department of Community Affairs and Industry and Trade. In June of 1998, James was named Regional Manager for the Department of Community Affairs in the new Augusta Regional Office. This assignment put James even closer to providing direct assistance to local governments in myriad areas. As the DCA lead staff person in Region 7, James was charged with brokering DCA programs and services to cities, counties, chambers, and development authorities.
After opening, organizing, and working the Augusta area office for DCA, James was named Associate Director of the new State Rural Development Council in August of 1999 under the Chairmanship of Lt. Governor Mark Taylor. This assignment moved James back to his home in Atlanta and back to work with the State Legislature assembling the Rural Council’s legislative agenda and helping create a comprehensive rural strategy for Georgia. James has a Bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and has participated in the National Development Council’s Economic Development Professional’s Program.
Ms. Robin Meyer
As Director of the Housing Finance Division of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (“DCA”), Robin is responsible for the State’s homeownership and affordable rental housing development programs. Affordable housing development resources include state and federal housing tax credits and federal HOME funds. Single family programs include the mortgage revenue bond program, down payment assistance, housing counseling, and consultation with local governments interested in increasing the supply of affordable housing.
Prior to becoming the Housing Finance Division Director, Robin was the Director of the Office of Environmental Management handling the Department's programs that address solid waste issues—waste reduction, recycling, state and local government solid waste management planning and community efforts such as Keep Georgia Beautiful.
Robin served as the Director of DCA’s Office of Single Family Housing from 1992 until 1998. The Office provides financing for first-time home buyers using the proceeds of mortgage revenue bonds and federal grant funds. The Office provides a comprehensive mortgage banking program, from third-party originations through participating lenders through to loan servicing. Prior to assuming the single family responsibilities, Robin directed an energy conservation loan program administered by Georgia’s rural electric cooperatives.
From 1976 until 1987, Robin was on the staff of the Georgia Office of Energy Resources, now a division of the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority. In that capacity, Robin was responsible for program planning and development in the fields of energy conservation and alternative energy resources.
Robin began her career in state government at the Department of Archives and History after completion of the Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She has also received a Master’s degree in public administration from Georgia State University.