Thursday, August 27, 2009

Atlanta CEO to Chair Goodwill Industries International's(R) Board of Directors

/PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Goodwill Industries International(R), Inc., (GII) has elected Ray Bishop of Atlanta, GA, as its new chair. Bishop took office during Goodwill's annual Delegate Assembly, held in Indianapolis, IN, this June, and will serve a one-year term.

Bishop has served as the President and CEO of Goodwill of North Georgia, Inc. based in Atlanta for the last 19 years. Before joining Goodwill of North Georgia, he served as the CEO at Goodwill Industries of Central North Carolina (Greensboro), Memphis Goodwill Industries (TN), and North Louisiana Goodwill Industries (Shreveport). Throughout his tenure, Bishop has demonstrated tremendous business management and a passion for serving others.

While at Goodwill, Bishop exceeded business goals by investing in the donated goods business line, including adding more convenient locations. He expanded commercial service lines by securing several large janitorial service contracts while supporting six self-funded career centers that maintained employment training, job placement and support services during a struggling economy.

"Ray Bishop set the bar by lending his financial and business expertise, which created new and sustainable jobs, and serves as a visionary leader within Goodwill," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "His passion for the Goodwill mission and his counsel will be invaluable to Goodwill in the year ahead."

Bishop is the 2005 recipient of the Kenneth K. King Management Award, recognizing a Goodwill executive for outstanding management abilities and accomplishments. Bishop is also the former chairman of Goodwill Industries International's Conference of Executives, the executive association of Goodwill CEOs.

Bishop earned his MA in Asian studies from Florida State University and his BBA in marketing from Florida Atlantic University. In addition to Goodwill Industries International's Board of Directors, Bishop previously served on the board of the Georgia Goodwill Association and was vice president of the Georgia Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

88-Year-Old Chick-fil-A Founder Reaches $25 Million Scholarship Milestone; Honored at Aug. 24 Downtown Atlanta Ceremony

/PRNewswire/ -- In the midst of companies looking for ways to trim costs and reduce budgets, Chick-fil-A continues its 36-year commitment to education with founder S. Truett Cathy reaching his $25 million Leadership Scholarship milestone during a year when the restaurant chain has allocated $1.4 million in scholarships to be awarded to its restaurant team members.

Cathy was joined Monday morning by Ambassador Andrew Young and other local political and community leaders at a ceremony celebrating his milestone and acknowledgement of the 25,000th Leadership Scholarship to Chick-fil-A team member Jamie Dyche of Bossier City, La. The ceremony was held at Atlanta's downtown 23-foot Chick-fil-A "Climb with Care and Confidence" statue that was commissioned in 1995 by Georgia State University art students to celebrate Cathy's 10,000th scholarship milestone.

Commemorating the event was the unveiling of a plaque with the image of a mayonnaise jar. The plaque is symbolic of the story that occurred 54-years-ago when Cathy encouraged and helped one of his earliest restaurant team members, Eddie White, to attend college.

Cathy placed a collection jar in his first restaurant, the Dwarf Grill from which the chain was founded, to raise funds for White -- who was present at today's celebration. At the end of the summer, Cathy wrote a personal check to make up the lacking funds for White, who became the first in his family to attend and graduate from college.

The celebration will culminated Monday evening at the Gwinnett Braves' game in Lawrenceville, Ga., where Cathy and Dyche threw out the first pitch.

The venue was an appropriate ending to the day as it reflected other educational programs the chain supports. Chick-fil-A and the Atlanta Braves are partners in the All-Star Student Achievers program which awards Braves tickets and Chick-fil-A coupons to Georgia's high-achieving K-12 students.

In addition to Dyche, who works for franchised Operator John Roden at the stand-alone Bossier City Chick-fil-A restaurant at I-220 & Airline Drive, Cathy was joined by other milestone scholarship winners for the celebration including first Leadership Scholarship recipient Larry Jackson, who worked at the first Chick-fil-A restaurant at Greenbriar Shopping Center and graduated with a bachelor's and master's degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech; and 20,000th recipient Erica Lampkin, who graduated from Atlanta's Spelman College in May and plans to attend medical school.

Also attending the events was recipient Dr. David Vaillancourt, founder of the National Math Bee, who symbolizes the great achievements of many scholarship recipients who have carried out Cathy's vision to have a positive influence on the world.

"I realized very early in my career that our restaurants present an opportunity to do more than just provide great service and food. They enable us to mentor our restaurant team members by teaching them core values and how to achieve excellence, as well as encouraging continued education with scholarships," said Cathy. "In these challenging economic times, we're thrilled to be able to help Jamie and some 1,400 other team members this year reach their academic goals so they will have the necessary tools to secure a bright future for themselves and our nation."

Scholarships have now grown to include 25,000 restaurant team members benefiting from the founder's commitment to education with Chick-fil-A's Leadership Scholarship program formally organized in 1973. Restaurant team members have attended more than 2,400 colleges, universities and other educational institutions across the country with the aid of these scholarships.

Following college graduation, many of these restaurant team members pursue full-time careers at Chick-fil-A, such as Dyche's franchisee Operator John Roden, who also received one of the chain's scholarships while working during high school for Chick-fil-A. Roden has now helped 19 of his restaurant team members benefit from the same scholarship program.

The Leadership Scholarship program provides $1,000 scholarships to its restaurant team members who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of work, education, community and personal leadership development.

Chick-fil-A also awards S. Truett Cathy Scholar Awards, which provide additional $1,000 scholarships to the top 25 Chick-fil-A Leadership Scholarship recipients each year. Implemented in 1996 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Chick-fil-A's scholarship program, this year's S. Truett Cathy Award recipients brought the total awarded to $325,000.

Additionally, Chick-fil-A's WinShape Foundation provides thousands of dollars in scholarships to qualifying students enrolled in Berry College in Rome, Ga. WinShape's partnership with Berry College offers joint four-year scholarship funding to students of up to $32,000. To date, the foundation has awarded approximately 951 scholarships to students from across the nation to attend Berry, one of the top regional liberal arts schools in the country.

The Council for Aid to Education has indicated that no other company in terms of size does as much in the scholarship area as Chick-fil-A. "Like the name of our foundation, WinShape, it has always been my goal to help shape winners out of young people," added Cathy.

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Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. Establishes ‘The Vicki R. Palmer Scholarship Program’

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE: CCE), the world’s largest marketer, distributor, and producer of Coca-Cola products, yesterday announced the establishment of The Vicki R. Palmer Scholarship Program, created in honor of Spelman College trustee and retired Coca-Cola Enterprises executive Vicki R. Palmer. CCE will fund $25,000 in annual scholarships to the College in support of the program.

Given to students with academic promise, a demonstrated financial need, and a proven commitment to community service, The Vicki R. Palmer Scholarship will also provide Spelman students an opportunity to complete a summer internship at CCE.

“The Vicki R. Palmer Scholarship honors Vicki’s invaluable contributions to our company, while representing CCE’s ongoing commitment to attract and retain a diverse, inclusive, and highly talented workforce,” said John F. Brock, chairman and chief executive officer, Coca-Cola Enterprises. “This program recognizes her dedication to community service, diversity, inclusion, and the empowerment of women, which are all trademarks of her leadership style.”

Throughout her 25-year tenure in the Coca-Cola system, Mrs. Palmer was committed to helping fulfill the Company’s diversity and inclusion goals of recruiting, retaining and promoting minorities and women, and providing opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses.

“I am honored by CCE’s generosity in establishing this scholarship program, which will serve as a lasting legacy,” said Mrs. Palmer. “This tribute underscores the missions of CCE and Spelman, both of which are committed to preparing young leaders for a competitive, global business environment while making a positive social impact.”

An avid supporter of Spelman College, Mrs. Palmer was elected to the school’s board of trustees in 1995. Currently, she serves as chair of the Investment Committee and is a member of the Audit, Finance and Budget Committee; Audit Sub-Committee; and Executive Committee.

“As a board member for more than 14 years, Vicki has demonstrated her passion for student development and mentorship by actively engaging business and community leaders in support of Spelman’s vision,” said Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president, Spelman College. “The Palmer Scholarship celebrates this passion by providing financial support and career training to help Spelman women become leaders in a 21st century global economy.”

Mrs. Palmer made lasting leadership contributions to both CCE and the Atlanta community over her distinguished career. She was initially hired by The Coca-Cola Company in 1983 before joining CCE’s initial leadership team as Assistant Treasurer when the company formed in 1986. She was then elected Corporate Vice President and Treasurer in 1992; Senior Vice President and Special Assistant to the CEO in 2000; and served as Executive Vice President, Financial Services and Administration from 2004 until her retirement earlier this year.

Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically black college boasts a 79 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis, authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 83 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 12:1. More than 2,100 students attend Spelman. For more information, visit

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

DFCS case worker Rita Goodman receives National Adoption Award

Rita Goodman, a Clayton County adoption case manager for the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Family and Children Services (DFCS), has received the prestigious Adoption Excellence Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her successful work with Georgia’s foster children.

Goodman was honored August 4 in Washington, D.C., along with 16 other award recipients. She was recognized for finding permanent homes for more than 110 foster children, including some who faced enormous challenges to adoption.

“As the first Georgian ever to win this coveted award, we are all proud of Rita’s great work,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. “Her efforts on behalf of Georgia’s children reflect the state’s commitment to find a loving home for every child.”

Goodman, who works for Clayton County DFCS, was named “Queen of Adoptions” for metro Atlanta in 2006 and 2008. Her accomplishments include finding permanent homes for more than 18 sibling groups and more than 17 children aged 14 to 18 years old.

“We’re very proud of Rita, especially her work with children who face obstacles to a permanent home,” said B.J. Walker, commissioner of DHS. “Georgia is making real progress for foster children. Fewer kids are entering foster care. For those in our care, we are developing permanency plans that include a time table for when we hope to have each child matched with a safe and caring family.”

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Governor Gives Extraordinary Service Award to Health Agencies

Governor Sonny Perdue announced today that employees of Georgia’s health and human services agencies have been awarded the “Governor’s Award for Extraordinary Service to Georgians” in recognition of their outstanding work during the reorganization of the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Community Health.

“This is only the second time we have given out this recognition and I hope it stands as a real testament to those who worked hard for the benefit of Georgia’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Governor Perdue. “Thanks to the work of over 200 state employees the reorganization of Georgia’s health and human service agencies has been completed successfully less than five months after it began with no disruption in services to constituents.”

The employees not only completed the transition without a break in customer service, they also helped move thousands of staff members physically and administratively to new agencies and new functions and maintained support for partner vendors without disruption, all while continuing to do their regular jobs.

“If you compare this to the corporate world, what we have accomplished is a simultaneous divestiture, merger, startup, and reorganization involving a company with 20,000 employees – in less than five months. That is unheard of,” said Jim Lientz, Chief Operating Officer for the State of Georgia.

The health and human services reorganization was initiated by Governor Sonny Perdue and approved by the Georgia General Assembly in its 2009 session as a way to bring greater focus to the state’s behavioral health services and to better align the state’s programs promoting public health.

The reorganization created a new agency called the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities with 8,600 employees from the former Department of Human Resources (DHR). At the same time, DHR’s Division of Public Health and Office of Regulatory Services, representing a total of 1,240 employees, were divested and transferred to the Department of Community Health. The remaining functions of DHR, including Family and Children Services, Aging, and Child Support Services, were reorganized to form the new Department of Human Services.
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