Scott Sikes joins Shepherd Center Foundation as executive director

Scott Sikes recently joined the Shepherd Center Foundation as executive director and was also named Shepherd Center’s vice president of development.

The Shepherd Center Foundation sets the development policy and acts as the major fundraising entity for Buckhead’s Shepherd Center, the country’s largest catastrophic care hospital specializing in the treatment of people with spinal cord injury and disease, acquired brain injury, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular disorders and urological problems.

Sikes came to Shepherd Center following an extensive nationwide search from Valdosta State University, where he was the vice president for university advancement and CEO of the Valdosta State University Foundation. Previously, he worked at the University of Georgia as a senior development officer for many years. Sikes began his career in the Georgia General Assembly as an administrative aide to Joe Frank Harris during Harris’ final year as House Appropriations Committee chair and his first term as Georgia’s governor.

Sikes earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia’s School of Public and International Affairs and a master of business administration degree from Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business. He holds the professional designations of Certified Financial PlannerTM and Certified Fund Raising Executive.

Sikes and his wife Valerie have relocated to Atlanta from Valdosta.

Microsoft gives History Center $1 million

Microsoft Corp. gave a gift of $1 million to the non-profit Atlanta History Center that will enable the center to put more of its collections online, allowing people to more easily access the extensive genealogical database and Civil War archives.

This gift is the third to the History Center from the Seattle-based software company since 2000. The three gifts total more than $1.4 million.

The Microsoft gift will provide software, training, online security and also hardware. In the next 12 to 18 months, the History Center hopes to put many of its photo archives online for the public to purchase.

Franklin joins Stites & Harbison law firm

Kenneth Franklin has joined Stites & Harbison Attorneys in Atlanta, where he serves clients in the firm’s Construction Services Group.

Franklin is a graduate of The University of Georgia (UGA) School of Law where he was executive editor and a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Intellectual Property Law.

A decorated varsity football student-athlete at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, Franklin received a scholarship from the Carolina Panthers Graduate Scholarship program to attend the University of Georgia’s School of Law. The scholarship program is administered by the Richardson family, which owns the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers team.

Franklin is a member of the Westminster Schools Alumni Association.

Supermarkets push Sunday alcohol sales

Led by Publix Super Markets Inc., Georgia’s grocery and convenience stores are already lobbying in support of legislation to let them sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday in advance of the 2008 session of the Georgia Assembly.

The lineup includes Publix, The Kroger Co., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and QuickTrip Corp., all of which have been meeting with key lawmakers since the end of the 2007 legislative session.

But they haven’t been alone. They have been joined by the Georgia Food Industry Association and the Georgia Association of Convenience Stores. The two trade organizations are working on advertising campaigns to build overwhelming popular support for the legislation, which died in the State Senate last year.

Georgia is one of only three states nationwide—and the only one in the Southeast—that still has “blue laws” on its books that forbid Sunday sales. The other two are Connecticut and Indiana.

Tishman Speyer buys Buckhead apartments

International development company Tishman Speyer, which owns One Alliance Center and is building Two Alliance Center, recently acquired two Buckhead apartment complexes as part of a $35.2 million deal that also included a third property at Clairmont Road and I-85.

The apartments were bought as part of its purchase of Archstone-Smith Trust and its outstanding debt for $22.2 billion.

The two Buckhead properties are the 349-unit Westchester Peachtree Valley near Peachtree Battle and the 250-unit Westchester at Buckhead. Tishman Speyer paid $31.5 million for Westchester Peachtree Valley and $37.7 million for Westchester at Buckhead.

All three of the properties were brand new.