The nonprofit formed to oversee the creation of the proposed park over Ga. 400 will have board members with high-level positions in a variety of industries, including the automobile business, real estate, engineering and activism for women’s equality.
The Buckhead Community Improvement District, the entity that conceptualized the park, announced on Jan. 7 the members of the nonprofit that would manage the fundraising, operation and construction of the proposed park over Ga. 400. The placeholder name of the nonprofit is POG 400, LLC.
“Although the group’s backgrounds are varied, its members share a passion for creating a world-renowned park in the center of Buckhead’s commercial core,” the press release said.
The proposed park would cap Ga. 400 between Peachtree and Lenox roads, provide green space and bring a redesigned Buckhead MARTA station.
The CID previously announced that local entrepreneur Barbara Kaufman would chair the nonprofit board and Jim Bacchetta, who represents Highwoods Properties on the CID board, will be a member.
Other board members include Mark Hennessy, the co-owner of Hennessy Automobile Company; Maxine Hicks, a partner and head of the Atlanta real estate practice at DLA Piper; Theia Smith, the founding executive director of the city of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative; and Jerry C. “Jay” Wolverton Jr., CEO of engineering firm Wolverton & Associates.
“I am honored that these incredibly talented Atlanta professionals are lending their expertise to the board that will oversee the development of Atlanta’s Park over Ga. 400,” Jim Durrett, the executive director of the Buckhead CID, said in the release.
Below are the board members’ biographies included in the press release.
Barbara Kaufman Fleming, CPA, CEO, BBK Enterprises – Kaufman, who will chair the nonprofit board, is the owner of BBK Enterprises, Inc., a consulting business. She is a co-founder of Chapter 11* The Discount Bookstore, a chain of discount bookstores in Georgia and served as its president and CEO from 1990 to 2002, and she has been a director of Omni Financial Services, Inc. since 2003. Kaufman served on the Board of Directors of MARTA and Georgia State University and served as a director of Omni National Bank. She is a member of Georgia State University’s Board of Advisors.
Jim Bacchetta, vice president and division manager of Highwoods Properties – Bacchetta is a 30-year commercial and industrial real estate veteran. In his role at Highwoods Properties, Bacchetta is directly responsible for the Atlanta division’s leasing, acquisitions, development, construction and property management. Prior to joining Highwoods in 2006, Bacchetta was a private investor in industrial properties in Atlanta, and he owned and operated a national trucking company. Bacchetta’s real estate experience includes an extensive national background in various sectors of real estate including office, industrial, multi-family, resort and senior housing. He started his career in Atlanta as a certified public accountant with Price Waterhouse, and Consolidated Resources and Anderson Properties. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and NAIOP, also known as the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
Mark Hennessy, co-owner of Hennessy Automobile Company – Hennessy, along with brothers Stephen and Peter, owns and operates Atlanta-based Hennessy Automobile Companies, the largest privately-held automobile dealer in the state of Georgia. Hennessy Auto operates dealerships which sell brands including Buick, Cadillac, Ford, GMC, Honda, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda and Porsche. Hennessy has served on the boards of many metropolitan agencies, including the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority and North Fulton Community Improvement District.
Maxine Hicks, Partner, DLA Piper – Hicks is a partner and head of the Atlanta real estate practice at DLA Piper, the third-largest law firm in the world with offices in more than 40 countries. She focuses her practice on real estate development with a particular emphasis on large mixed-use, transit-oriented developments, including destinations for stadiums, entertainment, hospitality, club and resort projects. Hicks advises developers, owners and healthcare providers on real estate issues associated with medical office buildings, ambulatory surgery centers, long-term acute care hospitals and hospital campus projects. She has extensive experience in real estate property acquisition, development and leasing, planned communities, distressed assets, state and federal regulation of real estate property, mixed-use community governance and public-private partnerships. She also assists clients with site selection, zoning compliance, contract negotiation, acquisition, construction, property management and lease negotiations.
Theia Smith, founding executive director of the city of Atlanta’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative – Smith, who was appointed to her position by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, leads the nation’s only city-funded initiative to conceptualize, design and execute a solution to equalize opportunities for women business owners in Atlanta. She champions equal access to economic self-sufficiency for women and girls, particularly those whose talent is often overlooked and under-sourced. Smith was named one of Atlanta’s “40 Under 40” by the Atlanta Business Chronicle; one of Inc. Magazine’s “17 inspiring Women to Watch in 2017″; a “2017 Superwoman” by Atlanta Tribune Magazine; and one of “13 Successful Spelman Alumnae to Watch” by Walker’s Legacy.
Jerry C. (Jay) Wolverton, Jr., PE, CEO of Wolverton & Associates – Wolverton founded Wolverton & Associates in 1989 with the vision of creating a regional, multi-discipline engineering firm providing high quality design to clients. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in 32 states with a focus on design and construction of commercial, office, industrial and residential projects. His professional affiliations include the American Council of Engineering Companies, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Council for Quality Growth and the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce. Wolverton is a champion for growth and development across the metro Atlanta region and the state of Georgia.