A Focus on Innovation and Collaboration at the Launch of Focus: Atlanta 2019

December 20, 2018

Atlanta, GA – Following hot coffee, breakfast and a lively VIP networking hour in the Woodruff Arts Center’s Rotunda, beautifully decked out in holiday attire, Capital Analytics President Abby Melone welcomed keynote speaker City of Atlanta COO Richard Cox to the podium in the Rich Theater.

Cox thanked Focus: Atlanta for taking such a deep interest in the metro area. He went on to laud the city’s accomplishments — which certainly contributed to Georgia once again being named the Best Place to Do Business. Cox has known Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms since high school, and he told a charming story about how he came to be the city’s COO and what the position means to him. He concluded his address by underscoring the need for regional leaders to continue to embrace their diversity as they work together toward a common goal: the One Atlanta vision.

The program’s first panel, “Innovation: Taking Atlanta to New Heights,” was moderated by Chad Gregory of Wells Fargo, who welcomed his fellow panelists Gautam Vyas of FIS Global, Shannon James of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance and Jimmy Etheredge of Accenture. The discussion began with Gregory asking each panelist to speak a little about what makes Atlanta such a hotbed for innovation. All cited Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, access to an educated workforce and the region’s growth in the fintech industry. Gregory then asked each panelists to discuss some of the challenges facing the city today. Transportation remained a key obstacle, but other challenges included market saturation, economic mobility and diversification, among other things. As Atlanta continues to pioneer in the realm of tech and innovation, these issues will be at the forefront of every leader’s mind.

James Gnefkow of Peachtree Planning took the stage next to answer questions pulled out of a fishbowl relating to December 2017’s tax overhaul. He gracefully navigated the complicated legislation, highlighting major takeaways for Atlanta businesses, potential effects of the loss of SALT deductions and the impact on Atlanta’s bustling real estate industry.

The final panel addressed “Healthcare 2020,” moderated by Greenberg Traurig’s Ted Blum, who introduced panelists Bryan Ginn Jr. of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jeff Fusile of Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Georgia and Dr. Jim Sams of Privia Medical Group – Georgia. With a medical practitioner, a medical educator and an insurer all on-stage together, the potential for differing points of view seemed high, but all three panelists shared similar concerns and a similar vision for the future of healthcare: namely, affordability, accessibility and strong relationships between doctors and their patients.


“The average Georgian spends $30,000 a year on healthcare,” Fusile said, “it’s the third biggest expense they have. We must be the leaders in making healthcare more affordable.” All agreed that the challenge moving forward is to make sure that 10 years from now we aren’t listening to a healthcare panel discussing the same exact concerns.

The event was attended by 175 high-level guests and officials from many of Atlanta’s key industries and economic institutions. After photo ops and a resounding applause, guests filed out of the theater to collect their shiny new copies of Focus: Atlanta 2019, hot off the press!

About Focus: Atlanta

Focus: Atlanta is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Metro Atlanta’s economy featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Focus: Atlanta is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on Atlanta to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Atlanta as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive of the top economic sectors in the county including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, technology and fintech, health, education, sports, and arts culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, as well as covers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

A copy can be purchased for $159 at www.capitalanalyticsassociates.com/shop

For more information, contact us at: contact@capitalaa.com

FinTech South Conference

May 7–8, 2018
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta, GA

Hosted by the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the event will join the industry in an exchange of insights, innovations and trends fueling tomorrow’s financial tech industry.

The two-day conference will feature current and emerging FinTech leaders from across the globe. Panel discussions, innovation spotlights and interactive break-out sessions will cover a variety of topics, including Security, Regulations, Blockchain & Crypto, AI & Big Data, Commerce & Retail Payments and Banking & Lending. The conference offers an opportunity to engage with hundreds of companies including those based in the region that generate more than $72 billion in revenues and process more than 118 billion transactions annually.

For more information on registration and sponsorships, visit www.fintechsouth.com.

Keisha Lance Bottoms Calls for “One Atlanta”

January 2018 — After a December recount confirmed her win of the mayoral seat over Mary Norwood by a narrow margin, Keisha Lance Bottoms has officially been sworn in as the 60th mayor of Atlanta. At 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Bottoms was inaugurated at the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College. She is officially the second woman and the first Atlanta public school graduate to serve as mayor of the City of Atlanta.

Earlier in October 2017, former Mayor Kasim Reed endorsed Keisha Lance Bottoms and declared her the best candidate of the 13 other hopefuls vying for the position. Given her past involvement and experience working with the city, Bottoms was clearly a strong choice.

Before running for mayor, Bottoms represented the District 11 on the Atlanta City Council, earning her seat in 2009. During her time on the council, she achieved the goal of a 2,000-officer sworn force in the Atlanta Police Department and helped grow the city’s reserves from $7.4 million to over $170 million in seven years. From 2015 to 2017, she also served as executive director of the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, which maintains public facilities like Phillips Arena and Zoo Atlanta. Under her leadership, the AFCRA completed the $350 million redevelopment of Turner Field, home to the Atlanta Braves.


As mayor, Bottoms has a few more priorities in mind. In her inaugural speech, she stressed the importance of investing in becoming “One Atlanta” by overcoming challenges and putting aside differences of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation and culture. She claims that we must keep Atlanta moving forward by leaving no one behind, and she plans to achieve this by prioritizing affordability and equity in her agenda. Bottoms intends to unveil a $1 billion affordability plan — the largest investment in affordable housing in the city’s history— in the coming months in order to ensure more equity within the city.

At her inauguration, Mayor Bottoms also stated that elected officials must re-inspire confidence in city government. She aims to do this by creating an ethics and transparency reform plan. Her emphasis on transparency within city government is evident on her campaign page, where she has made public her tax returns for the past eight years.

Because Atlanta is diverse in all forms, another one of Mayor Bottoms’ priorities is to continue to build up the police force and reform the criminal justice system in order to foster respect between officers and neighborhoods. Her target is to grow the force during her role as mayor.

Under her leadership, Mayor Bottoms will continue to provide transit options for working families and build on the largest expansion of MARTA in its history. She looks forward to working with state and regional partners to identify ways to expand transit throughout the metro area. She stresses the importance of expanding transit options since so many families in Atlanta depend on it — not to mention that it would reduce traffic on the city’s notoriously congested roads.

At the forefront of her agenda, though, is education. Education is the key to achieving “One Atlanta,” according to Mayor Bottoms. She believes high-quality education should be accessible to everyone, not just the rich. Eliminating the gap in schooling across neighborhoods would not only help educate the future generations of Atlanta but would also remove educational barriers for many students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to excel academically.

Accessible and affordable education promotes respect among young people, and since increased education has been shown to lower crime, it addresses many issues facing the criminal justice system at their root. Part of Mayor Bottoms’ plan to improve education is the creation of a city-wide college savings accounts, which would increase the chances of giving every child an opportunity for higher education.

Mayor Bottoms closed her speech by talking about “Atlanta magic.” By fostering an undivided and more equitable city, she plans to continue the legacy of the leadership that preceded her in order to create a better Atlanta in the years to come.


Visit the City of Atlanta website here: https://www.atlantaga.gov/