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Roundtable Discussion on The Current State of The Legal Profession

Today was a roundtable discussion on Burr & Forman Results Matter with four top attorneys discussing the current state of the legal profession.

Lee Thuston/Burr & Forman

Lee Thuston is Burr & Forman’s Managing Partner. He served as Alabama Counsel during the site selection and negotiation processes for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc., The Boeing Company, Mi-Tech Steel, Inc. and IPSCO Steel when these companies chose to locate their facilities in the State of Alabama. He assisted Honda Manufacturing of Alabama with the implementation of its incentives package with the State of Alabama for the development of its plant in Lincoln, Alabama. Lee also negotiated the incentives packages with the State for the recent Mercedes-Benz and Honda plant expansions in Alabama. Additionally, he assisted with negotiations on behalf of both DaimlerChrysler AG and Michigan Automotive Compressor Inc. (an affiliate of Toyoda Industries) during their site selection and incentives negotiation processes with the State of Georgia. Lee also assisted Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC with the implementation of its incentive package with the State of Alabama for the development of its plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Lee oversaw the site selection process for a new transmission manufacturing facility being developed by Honda Motor Company in Tallapoosa, Georgia.

In 2006, Lee and his partner, Warren Matthews, assisted with the site selection process for KIA Motors Corporation for a new automobile manufacturing facility to be located in West Point, Georgia. Most recently, Lee and Warren Matthews represented both ThyssenKrupp AG and National Steel Car, Ltd in their site selection and negotiation processes to locate manufacturing facilities in Mobile and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. To date, Lee has worked on new economic development projects and expansions representing over $15 billion of capital investment and the creation of thousands of new jobs.

Lee is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the General Corporate Law and Economic Development categories. He is also listed in Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, including being named for the past four years as a “Leader in their Field”, and Alabama Super Lawyers. Lee and colleagues Louis Anders and Warren Matthews co-authored Alabama Limited Liability Company Forms and Practice Manual. Lee is a Fellow of the Alabama Law Foundation, as well as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, both of which recognize significant contributions to the legal profession and the community. In 1994, he served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Birmingham Bar Association and as President in 2005. After law school, Lee served as law clerk to the Honorable Richard L. Jones, Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He is licensed to practice in both Alabama and Tennessee.

Michael Sullivan/Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice

Michael Sullivan is the Managing Partner of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice‘s Atlanta office. When it comes to senior-level strategic guidance in mass tort product liability litigation and other large-scale commercial litigation, clients turn to Michael.

Michael brings nearly three decades of experience in “bet-the-company” cases. He serves in the role of “outside General Counsel” or Coordinating Counsel, providing big-picture advice to craft successful litigation strategies, increase efficiencies and contain costs. Michael collaborates with clients on a wide range of high-end business problems, including mass tort litigation.

He spent 10 years as National Coordinating Counsel, Chief Litigator and Case Manager guiding a global automotive company through national asbestos friction litigation. In this role, he coordinated the efforts of a national network of 35 defense firms, as well as the company’s in-house legal team.

Michael has particular experience serving the automotive industry, including Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers, as well as closely held and family owned businesses. He also has extensive litigation experience in the software, information technology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Michael is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel and a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America.

Michael Trotter/Taylor English Duma, LLP

Michael H. Trotter is a Partner the “New Model” law firm of Taylor English Duma, LLP. He received his law degree from the Harvard Law School in 1962 and his B.A. degree from Brown University cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) in 1958. Prior to attending law school, he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in the Harvard University Ph.D. Program in American History and was awarded a Master’s Degree in History in 1959. His law practice in Atlanta has focused on corporate transactions and finance, as well as on family business.

Mr. Trotter’s studies of law firm growth and change have combined the perspectives of a successful practicing attorney, an experienced law firm manager, and a historian. As a partner in two of the largest and most successful firms in America (the predecessors of Alston & Bird and of Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton) and three entrepreneurial law firms, he has been a keen student of the economics and ethos of modern law practice.

Mr. Trotter has written and spoken frequently on law firm management, operations and economics, and the cost- effective delivery of legal services including “Profit and the Practice of Law” which is the definitive work on growth and change in the legal profession in America between 1960 and 1995, and his soon to be released book “Declining Prospects” about the continuing transformation of the legal profession in the United States. He has also been a columnist for Atlanta’s legal newspaper, The Daily Report, and he is the author of Pig in a Poke? The Uncertain Advantages of Very Large and Highly Leveraged Law Firms in America, which appeared as a chapter in the American Bar Association’s publication, Raise the Bar – Real World Solutions for a Troubled Profession (2007).

His courses in law firm management and economics at the Emory University School of Law in the early 1990s may have been the first, and were certainly among the first, to be taught at a major American law school.

Wayne Hillis, Jr./Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP

G. Wayne Hillis, Jr. has been in the practice of law in Atlanta, Georgia for 26 years and is a litigation partner with Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP, where he serves as the managing partner for the firm. Mr. Hillis represents a variety of securities broker/dealers and individual brokers in litigation, handles complex business and commercial dispute litigation, employment litigation and arbitration.

Mr. Hillis has long been an active member of the Atlanta and Georgia Bar Associations. He is a fellow in the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia, a fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America and is Co-Chair of the Minority & Diversity Clerkship Program with the Atlanta Bar Association. Mr. Hillis also serves on the firm’s executive committee, partnership committee and diversity committee.

He received his B.A. degree from the University of Georgia in 1983 and his J.D. degree in 1986 (cum laude) from the University of Georgia School of Law where he was a member of the Editorial Board and Managing Board of the Georgia Law Review.



Sustaining Our City Through the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge

Today we discussed again the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. The mission of this program is to reduce energy and water consumption in buildings by 20% by the year 2020. In a joint effort between Central Atlanta Progress, the City of Atlanta and many other local partners, Atlanta was one of the first cities to sign on to the Better Buildings Initiative.

Lauren Dufort/Central Atlanta Progress

Lauren Dufort’s sustainability expertise has come from over 5 years of promoting and improving sustainability efforts in her professional endeavors. During her time employed at Cousins Properties, Inc., Lauren specialized in researching sustainability opportunities and applying various USGBC LEED rating systems to multiple property types, including office, retail, industrial, and multi-familyproperties. While at WorkingBuildings, Lauren provided LEED project management and carbon emissions inventory management for both public and private organizations with large real estate portfolios. In her current role as the Director of Sustainability at Central Atlanta Progress, Lauren develops andimplements various sustainability programs through collaboration with the City of Atlanta and the Downtown business community. Such initiatives include the Downtown GreenSource program and the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge.

Jeffrey Portman/AMC, Inc.

Jeffrey L. Portman is President and Chief Operating Officer of AMC, Inc., the world’s largest trade mart/trade show organization and parent company of AmericasMart Atlanta, the nation’s largest wholesale home/gift/apparel marketplace.

Portman leads the daily operation of these Atlanta-based businesses, which annually bring tens of thousands of visitors to the city, generating more than $478 million in direct economic impact, and making Atlanta the wholesale/retail trading capital of the United States.

Portman’s career spans more than 35 years in commercial real estate development and management, including his leadership of the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) as general manager from June 1986 through July 1994, at which point he was appointed Executive Vice President of AMC, Inc.  His election as AMC president and chief operating officer followed in February 2001.

He subsequently has led AMC and AmericasMart Atlanta through a period of growth unprecedented in the companies’ 53-year history, commencing with the rebranding of the former Atlanta Market Center as AmericasMart Atlanta in 1996, and continuing with expansion of its global business base, most recently advanced in the opening of the celebrated Building 2 WestWing in January 2009.

A native Atlantan, Portman is consistently named among the Top 100 most influential people in the U.S. home furnishings industry, and comments regularly in national and international home, gift and apparel trade media.  Portman was named Atlanta Citizen of the Year by the Atlanta Police Foundation, with Mayor Franklin bestowing the honor.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau and on the Board of The Lovett School, his alma mater.

Portman did undergraduate work at Mercer University and Georgia State University and post-graduate study at Harvard in Cambridge.

Scott Hitch/Burr & Forman, LLP

Scott practices in Burr & Forman’s Environmental group and works with clients in all aspects of environmental law. Scott counsels clients on business strategy, regulatory compliance, permitting, policy, transactions and resolution of disputes. Scott’s services include: land conservation, historic preservation, brownfield redevelopment, environmental remediation, corporate responsibility/sustainability and recycling and regulation of wastes. He also consults with corporations in dealing with resource allocation and regulation such as water quality and its environmental impact, air quality, greenhouse gas, climate changes and energy sources. Scott’s environmental services also include dealing with commercial real estate transactions and the entire sustainable building process.

Prior to joining Burr & Forman, he practiced at national and regional law firms and had his own law practice. Scott’s environmental law background also includes previous law clerk experience at the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental & Natural Resource Division, Environmental Enforcement Section and the Georgia Land Trust Service Center. Scott is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional and has been named a “Georgia Rising Star” by Super Lawyers for three consecutive years in environmental law. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Land Conservation Center and Georgia Wetlands and Streams Trust Fund, and has served on the Stakeholder Committee for the City of Atlanta Sustainable Building Ordinance and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Environmental Conference Steering Committee.

Aside from Scott’s professional leadership, he is involved in a variety of community organizations including: Board of Directors for Keep Roswell Beautiful, Vice President on the Board of Trustees for the River Eves Education Foundation, Inc., and President of the International Board of Directors for the Center for Mediation, Peace and the Resolution of Conflict, Inc.

Scott received both his B.S., in ecology, and J.D. from the University of Georgia where he served as President of the Environmental Law Section in law school


The Facts About Georgia’s New Noncompete Employment Statute

Today we had a spirited discussion about Georgia’s new noncompete employment statute – House Bill 30.  Our guests were State Representative Wendell Willard, one of the co-sponsors of the statute and William (Chip) Collins Jr, the attorney who heads Burr and Forman’s new noncompete and trade secrets group – he is also the editor of their new Noncompete & Trade Secrets blog.

Wendell Willard/ State Representative 49th District Georgia House of Representatives

Wendell is the co-sponsor of Georgia’s new noncompete employment statute that became effective last year and drastically changed the legal landscape for noncompetes.

State Representative Wendell Willard represents the 49th District in the Georgia House of Representatives. Since being first elected to serve in 2001, Representative Willard has been instrumental in passing several pieces of landmark legislation. Since 2005 Representative Willard has served as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Chairman Willard’s notable legislative accomplishments during his time with the General Assembly include: the 2006 passage of Georgia’s Eminent Domain law, which strengthened personal property rights for all Georgians, and the 2004 Child Protection Law, which protects children against reckless and abusive caregivers. Chairman Willard also points to the 2005 creation of the City of Sandy Springs, his hometown, by the General Assembly and the subsequent creation of the cities of Johns Creek and Milton among his most notable legislative accomplishments.

In recognition of his legislative accomplishments, Chairman Willard has been honored by: the Georgia Council on Aging with their Special Legislator Award, the Department of Human Resources with their Leadership Award, and by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, among others. Most recently, he was honored in 2008 by the Georgia Municipal Association as a “Champion of Georgia’s Cities.”

Representative Willard resides in Sandy Springs with his wife Vicki. When not working at the Capitol, Representative Willard is an attorney in his own private practice, and serves as the City Attorney for Sandy Springs. Active in the Sandy Springs and North Fulton communities, Representative Willard serves on the board of The Newtown Park Foundation. Representative Willard serves as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and also serves on Appropriations, Ethics, Ex-Officio of Judiciary Non-Civil, and Vice Chairman of Rules. He was a member of the Insurance Committee from 2001-2005.

William (Chip) Collins, Jr.

Chip helps his clients successfully resolve multiple types of business disputes, including those involving breach of contract, commercial lending, unfair competition, real estate, and employment issues. He has represented clients ranging from individuals and small businesses to large banks and Fortune 500 companies in matters involving between tens of thousands to tens of millions of dollars in dispute. Chip firmly believes in working with his clients at the beginning of an engagement to clearly identify the client’s objectives and develop a strategy and budget for achieving the client’s goals in the most cost-effective manner. Although he is able to efficiently resolve most of his cases through dispositive motions or alternative dispute resolution, Chip is fully prepared to go to trial for his clients when necessary, having tried cases and handled appeals at both the State and Federal levels.

Disputes involving real estate and lending comprise a substantial portion of Chip’s practice. In the recent economic climate, Chip has spent the majority of his time representing several national and regional lenders in litigation involving large defaulted commercial loans, including the institution of receivership proceedings and defense of lender liability claims.

Chip has significant experience and expertise in helping businesses of all types prevent unfair competition through the drafting and enforcement of non-competition, non-disclosure, and non-recruitment covenants and the pursuit of remedies for misappropriation of trade secrets, breaches of fiduciary duties and other similar claims. He has written and lectured extensively on those subjects, as well. Chip has also successfully defended companies and individuals accused of unfair competition.

Chip is also often called upon to handle disputes arising from the break-up of business partners (the “business divorce”). In those cases, he attempts to temper the high emotions usually associated with such matters and work out a fair and common-sense resolution, thereby avoiding costly litigation that rarely provides a true economic “win” for any party in those types of cases.

Everything You Need To Know About The Impact of T-SPLOST on Atlanta and on Georgia

On July 31, 2012, Georgians will vote on a one-cent sales tax to invest in a specifically identified list of transportation improvements in each of our State’s twelve economic development regions. Each region’s election will be separate from the other eleven regions, and each region’s citizens will determine the fate of a new 10-year Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) on all sales in the counties within that particular region.

Today’s guests discussed the impact of T-SPLOST on Atlanta and Georgia.

Rob Hill/Hill Corporate Partners

Rob Hill is a commercial Realtor along with his partner and father Bob at Hill Corporate Partners in Atlanta.  Hill Corporate Partners is one of the few firms in the country that specializes in the exclusive representation of the end-users of commercial real estate: the tenants and the buyers, and for years they have been the most recommended commercial Realtors in metropolitan Atlanta on LinkedIn.

Before entering the real estate field, Rob founded and ran The Historian’s Gallery, a broker/dealer inhistoric documents and artifacts for museums and private collectors.  He has since served as a consultant to major museums and universities in the acquisition and authentication of historically significant items and even entire collections.

He was Program Director for the Leadership Exchange and Analysis Program (LEAP) for the Yale School of Management and has also worked in the field of mergers and acquisitions as well as commercial lending.

Rob is a member of the Board of Advisors for the Metro Atlanta Chamber as well as a sought-after speaker on Atlanta history, transportation, and business.

Bert Brantley/McRae Communications (representing MAVEN)

Bert Brantley joined McRae Communications in January 2011 after serving four years in Governor Sonny Perdue’s Communications Office, including the last two and a half years as Communications Director. Before that, Bert was in state government for nearly eight years at the Department of Transportation and the Department of Economic Development. Since joining McRae, Bert has worked with Southwest Airlines as they entered the Atlanta market, the Metro Atlanta Regional Transportation Referendum campaign and a number of other clients providing public affairs counsel, crisis communications strategy and traditional media relations activities.

Mitch Kaminer/Atlanta Board of REALTORS® and RE/MAX Paramount Properties

Mitch Kaminer is President of the Atlanta Board of REALTORS®, the largest Boards of its kind in Georgia and considered one of the strongest and most successful in the nation.  With nearly 5,000 members, ABR serves as a valuable resource for real estate education, the promotion of professionalism in the industry, and as a force for legislative initiatives geared toward creating positive change for the real estate community.

Mitch has been successfully involved in the metro Atlanta real estate scene since 1994, an active participant in ABR since 2002, and is currently a Associate Broker/REALTOR with ReMax Paramount Properties in Roswell.

Mike Alexander/Atlanta Regional Commission

Mike Alexander is the Chief of Atlanta Regional Commission’s Research Division. This Division provides a broad and accurate base of demographic, economic, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information to support ARC’s long-range planning efforts including the Regional Transportation and Development plans, functional plans, policies and implementation strategies.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. For 60 years, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped to focus the region’s leadership, attention and resources on key issues of regional consequence.

ARC is dedicated to unifying the region’s collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. It does so through professional planning initiatives, the provision of objective information and the involvement of the community in collaborative partnerships.

Greg Harley/Burr & Forman

Greg is a partner in Burr & Forman’s Commercial Litigation group with a concentration on business litigation, class action defense and employment matters. Greg has extensive experience in all aspects of civil litigation and has handled disputes on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants on a broad range of issues including breach of contract, fraud, bad faith, trade secrets, defamation and unfair business practices claims. While Greg’s practice is centered in Georgia and Alabama, he has represented clients in matters across the United States.

Greg’s clients include national banking institutions, insurers and one of Georgia’s largest residential contracting companies. Greg also currently serves as national litigation counsel for a diversified telecommunications company.


Autism Speaks Special Edition

This April is the fifth annual Autism Awareness Month, and on April 2 the World Autism Awareness Day was celebrated in order to recognize Autism as a growing  global health crisis. WAAD activities help to increase and develop world knowledge of the autism epidemic and impart information regarding the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, WAAD celebrates the unique talents and skills of persons with autism and is a day when individuals with autism are warmly welcomed and embraced in community events around the globe.

In today’s Autism Speaks special edition we met with three individuals whose work directly benefits those who are celebrated and honored on this day.

Sheila Wagner/Emory Autism Center

Ms. Wagner is the Assistant Director of the Emory Autism Center at Emory University, and Program Manager for the Monarch School-age program. She is a certified special education teacher and teacher consultant on educating students with Autism for close to 30 years. Ms. Wagner is a teacher and school consultant, national and international lecturer on educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, project director for a multi-county Inclusion Project affecting more than 600 students with ASD in the state of Georgia, and is a long term member of an interdisciplinary diagnostic team.

Ms. Wagner is an award winning author of four publications in the area of ASD, including “Inclusive Programming for Elementary Students with Autism” (1999), “Inclusive Programming for Middle School Student with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome” (2001), “Inclusive Programming for High School Student with Autism and Asperger’s” (1999), and “Understanding Asperger’s Syndrome: Fast Facts” (Future Horizons, Inc.,2004). Both the elementary and the high school books won the Autism Society of America Outstanding Literary Work of the Year (2001 and 2010 respectively). She has also published a chapter on educating females with Asperger’s syndrome in T. Grandin and T. Attwood’s book, Asperger’s and Girls (Future Horizons). Ms. Wagner contributes bi- weekly articles on ASD to NBC.Com’s popular television show Parenthood website. She consults with school districts and families throughout the State of Georgia and nation on school issues for students with autism/AS and lives in the Atlanta area.

The Emory Autism Center is a component of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Emory University School of Medicine. The program was opened in 1991 as a public, private and University collaboration. Since opening, the Emory Autism Center has become a national model for diagnosis, family support and innovative treatment, as well as a vital source of professional training.

Judy Tatro/Nobis Works

Judy Tatro is the On Site Project Manager for EPA Mailroom with Nobis Works. Nobis Works is a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities and other barriers to employment find meaningful work. This happens through evaluation, training and employment services both at the center and in the community. Nobis Works serves youth & adults with all types of disabilities, and sees that the population on the Autism spectrum is growing. Nobis Works recognizes that this disability requires special training and support services, and has created employment opportunities to help foster independence and success in the workplace for individuals on the Autism spectrum.

Danny Umali/Strategic Planning Group

Danny Umali helps families with special needs place their loved ones in the best possible financial situation through his Strategic Planning Group. Danny began his career recently as a financial services professional and has decided to place his focus on this special needs planning.

His wife of 15 years, Karen, had a direct link to the special needs community. For the past 7 years she has played a vital role at The Joseph Sams School in Fayetteville, GA where she worked full-time as a member of the speech department. After meeting with some of the families that she worked with, Danny realized that many of them are not aware of the options that are available. It was clear to both of them that these special individuals are bright, capable, and deserving of a full and happy life. It is Danny’s hope that he can work with the families of these special individuals in order to guide and help secure their future.

Karen has recently joined Danny as an associate with his practice in the summer of 2011. Together, they hope to reach out to as many families as possible.


Environmental Sustainability in the City: Atlanta’s Better Buildings Challenge

The city of Atlanta and Property Owners are taking the “Better Buildings Challenge” in order to promote environmental sustainability it the city. What is now being called The Atlanta BBC, was one of the first operations of the national Better Buildings Challenge announced by President Obama early last year. The challenge was implemented by the U.S. Department of Energy and has been created as an energy-efficiency leadership initiative. The Challenge supports commercial and industrial building owners, and any of those owners that decide to participate are provided with technical assistance and proven solutions to energy efficiency.

Atlanta’s Better Buildings Challenge was launched in November 2011 by Mayor Kasim Reed’s Office of Sustainability, in partnership with Central Atlanta Progress and other organizations. The goal of the challenge for Atlanta is to reduce their energy and water consumption by 20%.

In today’s Atlanta Environmental Sustainability Special Edition we had Scott Briskey from Sustainable Atlanta and Craig Jones from Cousins Property Incorporated on the show to discuss this new challenge that Atlanta has taken on.

Scott Briskey/Sustainable Atlanta

Established in 2007, Sustainable Atlanta is a catalyst and facilitator for sustainable progress in Atlanta.  Its core focus lies in convening leaders from business, non-profits, academic, civic and governmental sectors to develop sustainable policy and programs for those who live, work and play in Atlanta.  Sustainable Atlanta leverages its expertise to help orchestrate strategy, best practices, policies and programming that make Atlanta, citizens and organizations more bottom-line efficient, environmentally responsible and more competitive when attracting employers/jobs.

Scott Briskey is Director of Communications and Development for Sustainable Atlanta. With a career spanning more than a 15 years across multiple industries and disciplines, Scott has worked on a wide array of corporate communications and sustainability related projects. His career has included stints with Roy Communications, Jeanine Cooper Entertainment and Communications, Fletcher Martin Ewing and Edelman.  Scott earned a Mass Communication Arts with a focus on Public Relations from Clark Atlanta University

Craig B. Jones/Cousins Property Incorporated

Cousins Properties Incorporated is a leading diversified real estate company with extensive experience in development, acquisition, financing, management and leasing. Based in Atlanta, the Company actively invests in office and retail projects. Since its founding in 1958, Cousins has developed more than 20 million square feet of office space and 20 million square feet of retail space. The Company also provides leasing and management services to third-party investors.

Cousins has built and maintained an industry-wide reputation for innovative and sustainable developments, premium management services and top quality leadership.  The Company creates and maintains value in real estate assets for the benefit of shareholders, partners and clients.  Cousins Properties is a fully integrated equity real estate investment trust (REIT) and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CUZ.

Craig Jones is the Executive Vice President of Cousins Property Incorporated. Craig is responsible for the Company’s debt financings and for dispositions of Company assets and is also involved in acquisitions and in structuring of joint ventures. Previously, Craig has held other positions in the Company, including Chief Investment Officer, Chief Administrative Officer, and President of the Company’s Office Division.

Craig joined Cousins in 1992 as part of the firm’s acquisition of New Market Development Company, an Atlanta-based shopping center developer. As the Executive Vice President at New Market, Craig was involved in nearly all aspects of its business, with an emphasis on development activities and debt and equity finance. Prior to New Market, Craig was a partner with the Atlanta law firm of King & Spalding.

Craig also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of Central Atlanta Progress (aka CAP), a private, not-for-profit that strives to create a robust economic climate for downtown Atlanta. He is also is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, a community improvement district that levies additional property taxes on commercial property owners to fund public safety, transportation, cleaning and other initiatives.

Sustainability Is Good For Business

Today we talked about sustainability and how it can help a company’s bottom line. In today’s business environment, sustainable initiatives are no longer just a “feel good” effort; they are an important component of cost control and strategic positioning. Complying with ever increasing environmental regulations is impacting businesses from commercial real estate to manufacturing. On the show we discussed creative ways to reduce your company’s environmental impact.

We opened the show with Philip Wilheit Jr a Partner with Wilheit Packaging. Philip manages Wilheit’s sustainable packaging product lines and recycling initiatives. Their clients include several fortune 500 companies such as Mars/Wrigley, Mohawk Industries and Steelcase Industries. Wilheit sources some of the most environmentally friendly packaging materials available anywhere in the world. They have been at the forefront of the sustainability movement for years.

Also on the show was Phil Kitchens, President of Southern Waste & Recycling. Southern Waste is an environmentally conscious firm that helps its customers develop practical, sustainable recycling programs.   Whether you operate a large production facility locally or many locations overmultiple geographic regions, Southern Waste can help you reduce operating costs, minimize and contain landfill expenses, implement sustainability initiatives, and better manage the day-to-day service needs of your location(s). They also provide timely, detailed reporting and offer comprehensive site auditing and benchmarking of cost-reduction and green initiatives.

Arc of Georgia Leadership Shares Tips For Caring For Your Child With Special Needs

Parents who have a child with special needs like a physical and/or intellectual disability face many challenges. On today’s show Deirdre O’Brien, Executive Director of the Arc of Georgia and David B Glass, Vice President of the Arc of Georgia and Principal with Glass Financial Group were kind enough to share some real tips from their own life on how to care for a child with special needs.

The Arc of Georgia is a 50+ year old non-profit organization that advocates for families and people with developmental disabilities.  The Arc works to develop programs, funding and public policy that assists these people realize their goals of learning, living and working in the community.

David discussed some of the financial issues families of a disabled child have to deal with. He suggested building a team of trusted advisors (including a financial/tax planner and an attorney like James McCarten from Burr and Forman who are experienced in special needs planning) to help manage the complexity that is involved. Deirdre mentioned that a well meaning financial gift from a family member can disqualify a child from receiving government assistance so you have to be very careful with your finances. They both mentioned the importance of  setting up a trust to ensure that your special needs child is set up for life.

Health Care Reform: What Physicians Need To Know

Health Care Reform is at the forefront of every physician’s mind. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Healthcare and Reconciliation Act present many new, and uncontrollable, challenges to physicians and their practice.  Special guests Jim Hoover and Jim Stroud discuss what physicians can control and what they should focus on to help their business succeed. 

Jim Hoover is a Partner in Burr & Forman’s Healthcare Practice Group and resides in the Birmingham, Alabama office of Burr & Forman. Jim represents numerous hospitals, physician practices, pharmacies and medical device manufacturers throughout Alabama and the Southeast.  Jim concentrates his practice on litigation of Stark anti-kickbacks and false claims violations, writing healthcare compliance programs, responding to alleged EMTALA violations, Medicare appeals and many other health law disputes.  E-Mail Jim Hoover

Jim Stroud is currently a member with the largest accounting firm in Alabama, Warren, Averett, Kimbrough and Marino, LLC.  With over 35 years of accounting experience, Jim specializes in working with service businesses and medical practices in matters such as profitability improvement, physician compensation plans, staff training and motivation, recruitment of new physicians and strategy exit of senior doctors.  E-Mail Jim Stroud

Why Receiverships?

Receiverships offer an alternative process for the successful resolution of a troubled asset. As a neutral, third-party fiduciary, a receiver can ensure a distressed property is protected and preserved.  Additionally, a receiver can move swiftly in order to maintain the value of the property. Special guests Andrew J. Bolnick and Graham H. Stieglitz discuss the process for how a receiver is appointed, the role of the receiver and the key elements and benefits of a receivership.

Andrew is founder and president of Andrew Bolnick & Associates and has nearly 30 years of experience as a professional receiver and trustee over a wide variety of large commercial properties and businesses throughout the country.  His services include property management, operation of homeowner associations, completion of construction, working with local, county and state governments and regulatory agencies, taxing districts and all interested parties and developing and implementing marketing and sales programs.  E-Mail Andrew Bolnick.

Graham is a creditors’ rights and bankruptcy partner at Burr & Forman LLP and is resident in the Atlanta office. Graham assists clients with commercial reorganizations and workouts as well as transactional and litigation issues involving commercial transactions, receiverships, real estate and other business-related matters.  E-Mail Graham Stieglitz.