1st Annual Bridge Builder Awards
February 24, 2001
2001 Builder Co-Hosts
HENRY L. “HANK” AARON
Henry L. "Hank" Aaron is senior vice president of Atlanta National League Baseball Club, Inc. He also serves as vice president of business development for the CNN Airport Network, a division of Turner Broadcasting System. The CNN Airport Network provides customized news and information programming at airports around the United States.
Prior to joining Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., Hank enjoyed a 23-year major league career, during which he rewrote baseball’s hitting record book. He holds more major league batting records than any other player in the game’s history, including most home runs – lifetime, 755, and most runs batted in – lifetime, 2,297. On May 17, 1970, Hank became the first player to compile both 3,000 career hits and more than 500 homers. Along with Frank Robinson, Hank was inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY, on August 1, 1982.
Hank is currently president of Henry-Aaron, Inc., a licensed product business and chairman of Henry-Aaron Uniform Company, a national manufacturer and distributor of uniforms. He is a long-time Church’s and Arby’s restaurant franchisee. He is also president of Hank Aaron BMW. Hank sits on the board of Value City Department Stores, Inc., Atlanta Technical College, and Port Authority of Georgia.
Hank’s commitment to community service is at the very core of his admirable character. He is a member of the Board of Governors for Boys and Girls Clubs of America. And, with his wife Billye, he is the founder of the Hank Aaron Chasing the Dream Foundation a charity fund they established in 1994 to provide grants for children with special talents and limited financial resources.
Hank has received numerous civic awards, including the Presidential Citizens Medal, which was awarded by President Clinton.
Ray M. Robinson, a native of Dallas, Texas, is president of Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club, home of THE TOUR Championship, and chairman of the East Lake Community Foundation. The Foundation is responsible for the $120 million redevelopment of the East Lake neighborhood, which transformed on of the nation’s most troubled public housing projects into an award-winning model of a thriving mixed-income community.
Robinson is in charge of the strategic direction of the East Lake Golf Club and the East Lake Community Foundation to ensure the continued success of the community’s redevelopment and to inspire other communities to revitalize their inner city neighborhoods. Net proceeds from the operations of the East Lake Golf Club as well as THE TOUR Championship – the grand finale of the PGA Tour year – are funneled back into the East Lake community programs aimed at helping low-income families succeed.
Before joining East Lake, Robinson’s 35-year career with AT&T included positions in a variety of divisions including finance, marketing, sales, operations, corporate and regulatory affairs, maintenance and engineering. He joined AT&T in 1968 as a communication technician installing longs distance circuits. By the time he retired in 2003, Robinson had held such positions as president of AT&T’s Southern Region, the largest of AT&T’s five regions representing about $5 billion in revenue and 42,000 AT&T employees; president and CEO of AT&T Tridom, and AT&T subsidiary; vice president of operations for AT&T Business Customer Care; service vice president of AT&T Outbound Services; vice president of access for the Southern/Southwestern Regions; and vice president of AT&T Public Relations.
He is a trustee of Spelman College, Meharry Medical College and the University of Denver Alumni Association. He also is a member of the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, the NAACP, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the National Black MBA Association.
Robinson received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics and a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Denver.
Robinson is married and has two adult children and one granddaughter.
2001 Builder Honorees
ANN WILSON CRAMER
Ann Wilson Cramer, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, graduated from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a degree in mathematics. She is director for IBM Corporate Community Relations & Public Affairs. Ann and her husband, Jeff, along with their two children, Megan and Will, are active at St, Luke’s Episcopal Church, where Ann has served as Senior Warden of the Vestry. Ann started with IBM as a Systems Engineer in Jacksonville. After being “retired” from IBM for ten years, Ann returned to IBM in External Programs, now Corporate Community Relations.
Ann’s commitment to and involvement with children and youth has been a lifelong journey. Her current job with IBM allows her to continue work with the improvement of conditions for families because of IBM’s historic involvement with and investment in local communities.
IBM is committed to K-12 education, job training and employment, community and family services, literacy programs, and support for the disabled and disadvantaged. In support of IBM’s primary focus areas, Ann is a past Chair of the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) and on the Executive Committees for the Atlanta Committee for Public Education and the Chamber’s Education Committee. She serves on several nonprofit organization boards, including Carter Center Board of Councilors, the Woodruff Arts Center, the Alliance Theatre Company, and the Georgia Chapter of the International Women’s Forum.
In support of children and youth, Ann currently chairs the Governor’s Child Protective Services Task Force and she served as Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Children and Youth and co-chaired the Governor’s Welfare Reform Task Force, the Governor’s Policy Council for Children and Families, and the Grady Foundation.
With awards and recognition far too numerous to list here, Ann is one of the most tireless community leaders in the state of Georgia.
KHALIL JOHNSON, CFE
Khalil Johnson, CFE, became general manger of the Georgia Dome in August 1989. Johnson acted as project manager for the design and construction phase of the Georgia Dome, which opened on schedule and under budget in 1992. He currently has responsibility for the overall management of the facility, including special event marketing, operations, budget and staffing.
Johnson served as Director of Event Services for the Georgia World Congress Center from 1986 to 1989. The Freeman Companies formerly employed him as sales manager, and he was Director of Sales and Services for the Washington Convention Center. Prior to working in Washington D.C., Johnson has worked at the Georgia World Congress Center in the operations department form 1977 to 1982.
Johnson has served on the Board of Directors of the International Association for Exposition Management and the International Association of Auditorium Managers, which has recognized him as a Certified Facility Executive. He also has served on host committees for the Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, Olympics and the Peach Bowl. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution named Johnson on of the top 25 most influential people in Georgia sports. He is active in numerous local community organizations and is a frequent guest lecturer in the Georgia State University Sports Management Master’s Degree Program.
INGRID SAUNDERS JONES
In her capacity as Senior Vice President of Corporate External Affairs of the Coca-Cola Company, Ms. Jones directs the vision and involvement of the company in community, philanthropic and civic affairs. As Chair of the Coca-Cola Foundation, she leads the Company’s philanthropic commitment to education. Under her leadership, the Coca-Cola Foundation in the decade of the 1990’s contributed more than $100 million to education, including scholarships and programs for students of color in higher education, and initiatives to increase the academic success of students in public and secondary schools. In addition Ms. Jones serves on the board of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, which provides scholarships to high school students from across the country.
A native of Detroit, Ms. Jones earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Michigan State University and a master’s degree in education at Eastern Michigan University. A teacher by training, Ms. Jones’ commitment to education and community development extends beyond the doors of the Coca-Cola corporate headquarters. She chairs the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta and a past Chair of the National Black Arts Festival. She also serves as a board member of the Council on Foundations, The Foundation Center, the Georgia State University Foundation and the Woodruff Arts Center. In 2001, she became Chair of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.
In recognition of her work in the corporate world, as well as her contributions to civic and community causes, Ms. Jones’ alma mater, Michigan State University, honored her with an honorary doctor of humanities degree, an honor she also received from the Atlanta College of Art and Morris Brown College in Atlanta.
Recognition of her work and contributions also in clued NAACP-Atlanta Chapter’s 1998 Jondelle Johnson Legacy Award; the 1998 “Woman of Achievement” from the YMCA of Greater Atlanta; 1998 John B. Gerlach Development Award; Georgia State University School of Business 1998 “Hall of Fame”; the NAACP Legal and Education Fund’s 1997 “National Equal Justice Award”; the Atlanta Urban League’s 1996 “Distinguished Community Service Award”; the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “DECA Award”; the National urban League’s “Herbert H. Wright Community Service Award”; and the Bethune-Dubois Fund “Corporate Pioneer Award.”
Isaiah Tidwell, currently based in Atlanta began his career with Wachovia in Charlotte in 1972. Since then, he has held positions in Winston-Salem, Kernersville and lemons and several regional leadership positions in the Southern Region. He was named President of Georgia Banking, Wachovia Bank, N.A. in Atlanta in June of 1999.
A native of Charlotte and a graduate of North Carolina Central University, Tidwell received a master’s degree in business administration from the Babock School of Management at Wake Forest University.
Besides serving on the boards of the Atlanta Area Chapter of Boy Scouts of America and the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Tidwell also serves on the Grady Health System board of visitors and is co-chair of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund Campaign. He is a member of the North Carolina Central University Alumni Association and a life member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Tidwell serves on the boards of Lance Inc. and Ruddick Corporation, and is a member of the advisory board of Rack Room Shoes.
Tidwell is past chairman of the Afro-American Cultural center Board, past chair of the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Education Foundation, past treasurer of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce Board and a former trustee of Davidson College. He served as general campaign chairman for the unite Way of Forsyth County in 1987 and as president in 1990. He also served on the Southern Governor’s Commission on the Future of the South in 1998.
Tidwell is a member of Friendship Baptist Church, is married to the former Hellena Huntly of Greensboro and has two sons.