Reporter’s Notebook: Atlanta women securing the board chairs

January 28,2021

Maria Saporta, Saporta Report

At the annual meetings of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District on Jan. 27, PNC Bank’s Eddie Meyers passed the chairmanship gavel to Donna Hall, publisher of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 2019. She will serve a two-year term.

“My time as chairman is coming to a close, but don’t worry; I still plan to keep a seat at the table,” Meyers said. “There is much work left to be done, especially as we look ahead to downtown’s recovery, so stick with us.”

Hall is a veteran media executive with more than 30 years of experience with Cox Enterprises’ radio, TV, and newspaper brands. Cox Enterprises also is a legacy CAP member. Amazingly, Hall will be the first woman in CAP’s history to serve as board chair.

“It’s an honor for me to represent and help lead Central Atlanta Progress, especially at this time,” Hall said. “I think of the name of the organization: Central Atlanta Progress, a word that itself means to move forward. That’s exactly what we must do as Atlanta reshapes, recovers, and reinvents itself.”

The virtual one-hour show also featured words of welcome from Gov. Brian Kemp and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms as well as several other dignitaries.

Alicia Philipp, the recently-retired president and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, received the Dan & Tally Sweat Award. Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler received the Marcus Downtown Economic Impact Award from philanthropist Bernie Marcus on behalf of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena.

Sanjay Gupta, chief medical correspondent for CNN, helped present the WarnerMedia Downtown Community Leadership Award to downtown Atlanta healthcare workers for their tireless efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final segment of the show, “Perspectives,” featured CAP President A.J. Robinson in conversations with Dr. Lynn Paxton, District Director of the Fulton County Board of Health, Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, National Center for Civil and Human Rights President and CEO Jill Savitt, and Sweet Auburn Works Executive Director LeJuano Varnell.

A recording and materials from the “Good Morning Downtown” event can be viewed and downloaded at