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Ed Baker leaves the Atlanta Business Chronicle; Part of his Legacy is a Great Alumni Network

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Big news today in the Atlanta newspaper world: Ed Baker is retiring as publisher of the Atlanta Business Chronicle after 30 years. Reading the news got me thinking about what a great alumni group the Chronicle has.

Ed Baker, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Ed Baker, Atlanta Business Chronicle

I worked at the Chronicle in the late 1990s as a reporter. Though my time there was brief (less than two years), it looms large in my mind. The Chronicle launched my business journalism career, I made a lot of friends and most importantly I met Tony Wilbert. Back then Tony was just the best beat reporter I had ever met. Now he is my husband, the father of my three children and my business partner at The Wilbert Group.

 

We worked with some great people at the Chronicle who are still close friends – like Erin Moriarty, now a freelance writer; Matt Gove, now Chief Consumer Officer at Piedmont Hospital; and Julie Bryant Fisher, now VP of marketing at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. (Julie and I still get to work together because I am lucky enough to be on the advisory board at ACFB.)

 

And I have also become friends with so many people through the years, who worked before me at the Chronicle. People like Anita Sharpe, who left the Chronicle for The Wall Street Journal and is now Bloomberg’s bureau chief in Atlanta; Jason Kelly, now bureau chief for Bloomberg in New York; and Kelly Greene, who spent many years at The Wall Street Journal and now works in content strategy for BlackRock.

 

And there were a lot of interesting people who came after me too, with whom I bonded over our mutual Chronicle-ness. I became friends with Kate Carter, who left the Chronicle to become a teacher and then an entrepreneur. And Mary Jane Credeur, who went to Bloomberg and now works at Transwestern.

 

Baker leaves behind good people at the Chronicle, as well as an alumni network doing super-cool things across Atlanta and the country.

 

I am not sure Ed ever forgave Tony and me for leaving the Chronicle for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, but we are certainly grateful for our time there and especially for all the cool Chronics (current and former) we know.

 

Lots more great alumni to mention: Dean Anason, now at American Banker; Scott Trubey, now a reporter at the AJC; Walter Woods, now the Atlanta area director of marketing for Hyatt; Evelina Shmukler Burnett, now a reporter at Mississippi Public Broadcasting; Elizabeth Drachman, communications manger at DAI; Michael Wall at Georgia Organics; Marcy Frank, a communications VP at Credit Suisse in New York. I could go on and on. There are so many great friends and what a blessing to be part of this alumni group. Google has nothing on us!

Five Highlights from the Best of Atlanta Awards

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by M.C. Rhodes

Lisa Gordon of the Atlanta BeltLine accepts the land deal of the year award. Photo credit: Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Last night I got the opportunity to attend the Best of Atlanta Real Estate Awards, presented each year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It was my first time at the awards, and I was impressed to see all the great development going on in Atlanta.

The night consisted of networking, a talk from keynote speaker Henry Chamberlain and a presentation of awards in a variety of categories presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Here are five highlights from the event:

#1 Networking with Atlanta’s power players. It was great to be in the same room with so many of the major players in Atlanta development. As a young professional, I look up to those that have established themselves in the industry before me. Networking is an important part of public relations, and it was great to meet the people responsible for shaping Atlanta’s present and future.

#2 A speech on the state of CRE in Atlanta. The event’s keynote address was delivered by Henry Chamberlin, president and chief operating officer at BOMA International. Chamberlin made an interesting point that four generations of Americans are now in the workforce. He noted how the different age groups are influencing each other and the commercial real estate industry. The notion of how space should be used and the role of technology are coinciding with traditional ideas to shape how we do business.

#3 A new category. The Atlanta Business Chronicle introduced a new category this year: the real estate catalyst award. The award went to the Georgia 400 interchange in Buckhead, a $21.4 million project to provide connector ramps to Interstate 85. Archer Western Contractors Ltd. and Heath & Lineback Engineers Inc. were co-contractors on the project.

#4 Atlanta BeltLine recognized. Another exciting award went to the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, which won the award for Land Deal of the Year for its impact to the Atlanta lifestyle. The Eastside Trail is part of a network of multi-use trails along an old railroad corridor circling the city. It was great to see this project get recognition for its contributions to the public.

#5 The visionary award. It was a special moment to see Blaine Kelley Jr. recognized with the visionary award. The developer had a profound impact on Atlanta’s commercial real estate over the last 50 years while also working as a philanthropist both in the city and abroad.

“I can’t explain it other than to say if you feel you are fortunate in life then you need to share that good fortune with others,” Kelley told the Business Chronicle.