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Central Atlanta Progress Announces 2023 Award Recipients

January 17, 2023

Arthur Blank, the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs, and Sally Flocks will be recognized for their contributions to Downtown Atlanta. 

Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) will host their 2023 Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration at the Georgia Aquarium on February 14th. 

A highlight of every CAP/ADID Annual Meeting for more than two decades, the awards pay tribute to leaders and institutions that have had an indelible impact on Downtown Atlanta. The recipients of this year’s awards are:

  • Dan & Tally Sweat Award: Arthur Blank
  • Marcus Downtown Economic Impact Award: The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs (RICE)
  • Warner Bros. Discovery Community Leadership Award: Sally Flocks

Someone who has truly become larger than life, Arthur Blank is co-founder of the Home Depot, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United FC, the PGA Tour Superstore and the founder of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. Through his foundation, Blank has made his name synonymous with giving and bettering his community. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Arthur Blank Family YMCA, the Westside Future Fund and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are just some of the institutions to which Blank has given significant support.

The brainchild of the H.J. Russell Company and the Russell Family, The Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs is a business incubator organization, focusing on providing Black-owned businesses with the support to succeed and grow. In their new facility, RICE offers meeting, office, and innovation spaces, as well as opportunities for education, networking, and mentoring. RICE has accelerated the growth of Black-owned businesses in Downtown, resulting in a positive economic impact for the City of Atlanta as a whole.  

The founder of the nonprofit Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety (PEDS), Sally Flocks is what many call a “force of nature.” After PEDS’ founding in 1996, she quickly expanded it from simply educating drivers to going to the source of many issues: the way the roads are built. During her 23-year tenure as President, Flocks pushed for changes that can be seen across Atlanta and the State, resulting in safer streets for all. 

The Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration is open to the public. To learn more and purchase tickets, visit

The 2023 CAP/ADID Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration is presented by Delta Air Lines and made possible through the generous support of Gold Level sponsor PNC Bank. Our Silver Level sponsor is Norfolk Southern. Integral and Rough Draft Atlanta are Bronze level sponsors.

About Central Atlanta Progress / Atlanta Downtown Improvement District: Central Atlanta Progress, Inc., is a Downtown business association with approximately 240 members. Its mission is to champion a vibrant community with strong leadership and sustainable infrastructure that is safe, livable, diverse, economically viable, accessible, clean, hospitable and entertaining. The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable corporation created by CAP to make Downtown safer, cleaner and more hospitable.

Stay connected with Downtown Atlanta on social media at @DowntownAtlanta and online at