Talk to residents of Atlanta, and they will tell you the city is one of America’s newer, and most beautiful, urban areas. With a metropolitan area population of close to 3.5 million, the city is clearly popular with everyone from sports teams — the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Falcons, not to mention the 1996 Olympics — to business teams, including Delta Airlines corporate headquarters, The Coca-Cola Co. world headquarters, UPS world headquarters, CNN, Southern Bell, Georgia Pacific and others.

More than 300 alumni have chosen to live in Atlanta, where it seems that southern hospitality reigns and the living is, if not easy, at least enjoyable. All that’s lacking is an ocean.

On the following pages are brief profiles of Atlantan alumni in a variety of industries.

Job Description: Works with Fortune 500 companies to provide the design, administration and funding of non-qualified executive benefits

Previous Job: Founded predecessor company which worked with closely-held businesses. In 1974, the passage of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act put limits on qualified plans, at which point we transitioned into working with Fortune 500 businesses

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: The decision-making second-tier executive group is getting younger. In 1974 the average age of both the top executive group and the second-tier executive group was 54. Now the top executives are in the 51-year range and the second tier is around 45. Younger people are making bigger decisions than ever before

Likes Best About the City: Its gracious lifestyle and beauty

Likes Least About the City: Crime

Interesting Fact About Yourself or Your Company: My business partner is my wife, a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University and president of the company. It has been a real plus for the business. She is more of a thinker while I am more intuitive

Favorite Restaurant: The Blue Ridge Grill (regional American)

Favorite Hotel: Ritz Carlton, Buckhead

Job Description: Private investment firm

Previous Job: Mayor of 1996 Olympic Village. Worked as a volunteer for eight years getting Atlanta chosen for the Olympics, developing the entire concept of the village, financing it through the legislature and then staffing and managing it during the Olympic games

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: It’s amazing to me how much Atlanta continues to grow. I moved back here 13 years ago because of the quality of life, but now the city seems to have doubled in size. The economic growth has been incredible. A lot of people have made the decision to move here, but at some point [the increase in population] starts to have a negative impact on that decision.

The Olympics brought major redevelopment to the city. We cleaned up blighted areas, created more exciting environments and built housing for 4,000 students in center city. That has brought more enterprise, but again, it will be 10 to 15 years before we know the real impact of these changes

Likes Best About the City: As a southerner, I feel at home here. It’s a very progressive and vibrant business environment and the people are very friendly. Mountains are close by. I kayak and hike and my wife enjoys horseback riding. We can be at our house 4,000 feet in the mountains within two hours

Likes Least About the City: The traffic situation, which is a result of the city’s growth

Interesting Fact About Yourself: I’m at a point in my life where I feel like I have had great opportunities and done well, so I can make more of a contribution to the quality of life for my children and grandchildren. I am very active, for example, in the upcoming governor’s campaign. I can do things now because I enjoy them, not because I am being compensated for them

Favorite Restaurant: Abruzzi (Italian)

Favorite Hotel: Ritz Carlton, Buckhead

Job Description: Ownership and advisory role in company co-owned with husband Maynard Jackson, former mayor of Atlanta. Company has diverse interests including restaurant ownership, food services and real estate. I also do on-air broadcasting, public speaking and community project work

Previous Job: Hosted public affairs show called Prime Time from 1984 to 1994 on PBS station GPTV; special adviser to the mayor’s office of economic development during husband’s second and third terms from 1977 to 1981 and 1990 to 1994

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: Growth of hospitality industry. In addition, the city is attracting business because of climate and employment conditions

Likes Best About the City: Climate and the southern hospitality

Likes Least About the City: It doesn’t have the level of nightlife and good restaurants with live music that I was used to in New York

Interesting Fact About Yourself: A lot of people don’t know my strong business background because they see me more as a broadcaster/First Lady/public speaker. I had planned to have a full-time career in business but then I met Maynard Jackson and he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. See myself getting back into business full-time

Favorite Restaurants: The Fish Market and Mumbo Jumbo

Favorite Hotels: Ritz Carlton and Marriott Marquis

Job Description: Early-stage technology venture fund identifies, invests and grows technology-based businesses. Interested in life sciences, communications, information technology, agribusiness and core industrial technology

Previous Job: Practicing neurosurgeon

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: Increase in health information technology and small businesses in general. Entrepreneurial climate

Likes Best About the City: Sense of opportunity and energy. It’s a growth city

Likes Least About the City: The infrastructure is not yet fully developed, and culturally it has a ways to go

Interesting Facts About Yourself: I am a harpsichordist, I restore vintage British roadsters and, if I had a voice, I would sing opera

Favorite Restaurant: Toyotaya (Chinese/Japanese)

Favorite Hotel: Ritz Carlton, Buckhead

Job Description: A real estate and construction management firm with a focus on urban communities

Previous Job: Before my partner, Clyde E. Gumbs, W’75, WG’78, and I started The Integral Group in January 1993, I worked for 13 years at H. J. Russell & Co., a local real estate construction, property management and construction management firm

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: Growth in the Southeast region is absolutely phenomenal so there is a significant amount of new investment taking place …The push for reurbanization is alive and well. A lot of people are working hard to reestablish the visible significance of cities. As this occurs, there is a demand for the public sector to be more efficient in responding to the needs of citizens, which in turn places a significant amount of pressure on local officials to find optimal ways of delivering more for less. That’s what creates opportunity for private enterprise

Likes Best About the City: Quality of life. It’s a cross between the hustle and bustle of the northeast and a slower, smell-the-roses feeling. Lots of green space; you can look outside anywhere and see trees

Likes Least About the City: I am concerned that the growth is not being managed on a regional basis quite as well as it ought to be

Interesting Fact About Yourself: I have decided I will pursue vision and vocation at the same time. I am more concerned about making a difference than making as much money as possible … I don’t feel I have to do well and then do good. I feel I can do both at the same time

Favorite Restaurant: Patti Hut Café (West Indian food)

Favorite Hotel: For clients, Ritz Carlton, downtown; for friends, Marriott Suites

Job Description: Responsible for our company’s foreign exchange and derivatives activities

Previous Job: Have held various positions in corporate banking and capital markets during 18 years at Wachovia (with time out to earn an MBA from Kellogg)

Most Notable Regional Business Trends: Consolidation of financial service providers … Big growth in Southeast of small business and entrepreneurial sectors, especially in the software and consulting industries; increase in globalization by even middle market companies; and continued growth of growing foreign investment in the U.S.

Likes Best About the City: The lifestyle, which allows for a lot of flexibility. I’m married and have two small children … You can live in the country or in town and still have lots of space. Very upbeat environment … People get involved in the community, especially business people. It’s an extremely civic-minded city

Likes Least About the City: It’s a newer city so you don’t have historic buildings like the Philadelphia Art Museum; also lacks a vibrant downtown, although it’s improving

Interesting Fact About Yourself: According to my five-year-old son, I am a great baseball player

Favorite Restaurant: Thai Chili (good neighborhood Thai restaurant)

Favorite Hotel: Ritz Carlton, Buckhead

Job Description: Head of the world’s leader in on-line and information delivery, a service first offered in August 1995. The division’s products include the CNN interactive websites and CNN Interactive/PageNet pager news and information service. CNN Interactive is also the leading news provider on the Pointcast Network and has a staff of 200 employees in editorial, technical, marketing and business development

Previous Job: Senior Counsel, Turner Broadcasting

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: The growing reliance on high technology and an expanding information technology industry

Likes Best About the City: Sense of community, friendliness of people, great weather, racial diversity

Likes Least About the City: Traffic

Interesting Fact About Yourself: I’m a founder and past president of Hands On Atlanta, a clearing house that places individuals in a wide variety of volunteer projects. More than 14,000 people have been involved to date. Recipient of the United Way Golden Rule Award for community service

Favorite Restaurant: Ninos (Italian)

Favorite Hotel: Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead

Job Description: Manage a program designed to increase business opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs who do business with the Coca-Cola system. Just completed a five-year billion dollar expenditure goal with that target audience

Previous Job: Marketing materials manager involved in buying all sustaining and permanent merchandise with the Coca-Cola trademark on it, from the clocks in restaurants to the scoreboards in stadiums to the neon sign in Times Square

Most Notable Regional Business Trends: Atlanta is becoming more like Houston and Los Angeles in the sense that it is not defined by its core center but by the metropolitan area … The Atlanta region is expanding. While it has always been a transportation center, it is now becoming a global transportation center. Many corporations headquartered in this region can fly from here to anywhere in the world … The high-tech industry is booming, helped along by Georgia Tech

Likes Best About the City: Atlanta is my home. And it’s the southernmost point in the U.S. where you have four seasons

Likes Least About the City: It is car-focused … All the people who live in the suburbs don’t want to contribute to their fair share of the rapid rail system but want the benefits of it, including access to all that the urban area provides, like entertainment and sports events

Interesting Fact About Yourself: I am involved in the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation as well as several other organizations that are trying to preserve old neighborhoods

Favorite Restaurant: Any restaurant that serves Coca-Cola

Job Description: We manufacture and distribute bulk ice cream, sherbets, sorbets and frozen desserts to the food service community. Oversee 25 employees

Previous Job: Audit supervisor with Coopers & Lybrand before coming to Wharton where I was an entrepreneurial major

Most Notable Regional Business Trend: Atlanta has benefited from corporate relocations. Many people realize that the costs of doing business are very high in New York and other northeastern cities. The world has changed so much that you can operate from anywhere. You don’t have to be on Wall Street.

This has brought a tremendous number of jobs to the state. Also, most of the big cities in the country are bounded by water on one side, which means land is somewhat limited. These cities cannot grow in a 360-degree direction. Atlanta can. Plus we have very good, very modern transportation systems

Likes Best About the City: Residents are proud of Atlanta. They talk it up. And southern hospitality is alive and well in Georgia. People are charming and gracious

Likes Least About the City: Everybody will tell you that we need to be closer to the ocean. There is no beach nearby

Interesting Fact About Yourself: I like sea kayaking

Favorite Restaurant: Carbo’s Café (continental)

Favorite Hotel: Marriott Marquis