A big crowd of the city’s movers and shakers gathered for the 27th annual Buckhead Coalition annual meeting Jan. 27, held at the 103 West event hall on West Paces Ferry Road. Guests were greeted by former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, who founded and still leads the civic organization, an invitation-only group of 100 CEOs and others active in Buckhead life.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (left) joins Paulette Brown, president of the American Bar Association, and Buckhead Coalition President Sam Massell at the Coalition’s 27th annual meeting Jan. 27 at 103 West. (Photo John Ruch)

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Fulton County Chairman John Eaves were among the many elected officials in attendance. Reed credited Massell with demonstrating that “there’s no such thing as retirement for mayors” and praised the Buckhead Coalition for assistance in getting through his “toughest summer” in dealing with a spike in local crime. “The point is that we hear you,” Reed told the Coalition membership.

Eaves spoke about Fulton mayors joining in regional planning for transportation and transit improvements. “I think you’re going to see something miraculous this year” as they collaborate on a possible transportation funding package to send to voters, he said. MARTA Chairman Robbie Ashe and CEO Keith Parker were in attendance.

The keynote speaker was Paulette Brown, president of the American Bar Association, who spoke about the importance of diversity and inclusion in employment as both ethical and good business. She also praised the Buckhead Coalition’s diverse membership and said, “It’s good to know that you bring together private and public concerns, because nothing can be done without the other.”

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.