The Write Stuff

31 May

Celebrating three cover stories this month!

 

MReport_May

Paying It Forward

Inspired by his own welcome to a new home in a new land, Wells Fargo’s Joe Ohayon continues to define and refine successful mortgage outreach and relationship-building for the good of both the borrower and the bank.

 

 

TREB_May

 

Law Firms React to Real Estate Growth

Commercial real estate attorneys must navigate between momentum and the fine print.

 

 

DSNews_May

 

 

Startup Schooling

Nine experienced startup executives share the journeys that led to them going it on their own, as well as the unique approaches that led to their successes. 

 

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day!

14 May

My wife and her mother (right & left, respectively) are giants in our lives. So grateful.

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

ATL: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

27 Apr

Source: AJC

• Good: Atlanta ranks among the top 3 cities in the country poised to become one of tomorrow’s tech meccas, according to Forbes. The publication reported that Atlanta’s total tech jobs have grown by 46.7 percent since 2010, which tops the national average by nearly 20 percentage points.

• Bad: Atlanta ranked eighth in the world for traffic congestion with an average annual commute time of 70.8 hours, according to INRIX’s 2016 Global Traffic Scorecard. It also lays claim to the worst traffic bottleneck: the intersection of I-85 and I-285. And all these studies came out before part of 85 collapsed last month!

• Ugly: The ATL ranked as the eighth least attractive city in the country, according to Travel+Leisure magazine. Fear not though, fellow citizens: apparently we graced the most attractive list pretty recently so maybe they caught us on a bad hair day this time around.


 

Hail to the King!

29 Mar

A Palmer Pilgrimage to Wake Forest last fall

I am celebrating The King from this month’s Arnold Palmer Invitational to next month’s Masters and beyond. Palmer, the global sports icon and my fellow Wake Forest Demon Deacon, passed away last fall at the age of 87. The new golf season reminds us that old traditions will be quite different this year without golf’s greatest ambassador.

  • “Can he play golf?”

The Wake Forest Athletics Director uttered this in 1947 when a Deacon recruit was encouraging him to offer another scholarship to a fresh-faced 18-year-old from Latrobe, Pa. That recruit would take Wake’s golf team and then a whole sport to a new level.

  • “This man was my favorite person. Not my favorite golfer, but my favorite person that I ever met.”

Country music singer and golfing enthusiast Vince Gill said this about the King. I don’t bite on too many marketing campaigns, but Mastercard aced it with #ArnieWould: Arnie would stop and sign every autograph, Arnie would found two hospitals for women and children, Arnie would become only the sixth athlete ever to be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal…

  • “How he impacts other people is more important than any golf championship.”

A former patient at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies named her son Palmer after surviving a harrowing pregnancy thanks in large part to the Orlando hospital staff. The family was surprised, to say the least, when later little Palmer received a thankful letter from his legendary namesake. Arnie had the common touch, but was still bigger than life to many folks. More importantly, he believed in something bigger than self.

 

Source: Wake Forest magazine, NBC Sports

Scholarship of Engagement — Prof. Conrad Fink “Guest Blog” (Part I)

23 Mar

 Fink

It’s been five years since my favorite professor and UGA legend Conrad Fink passed away. I recently rediscovered a Fall 1998 issue of the University of Georgia Research Report. (Not sure why I have it — I arrived in Athens for my graduate studies in 2001 — but I’m really glad I do.) Inside are Fink’s poignant and prescient remarks about academe’s obligation to engage the general public and major trends in higher education and communications that very few at the time had fully considered. Only Fink could make a research journal that engaging! In the tidy package are the timeless themes of caring, giving and sharing and how truly meaningful work must include those things.

Does the scholar truly have an obligation to relate learning to the general public? Let me ask you: Do scholars have a responsibility to shine light in dark corners? To help good triumph over evil? To assist reason in the eternal war against chaos?

Yes, scholars do have a responsibility to interact with the public — and I personally question that proposition no more than I would question whether I have a responsibility to dart into traffic and pull a child to safety. I question the proposition no more than I question whether a physician has a responsibility to heal.

And I don’t mean scholars should sit demurely on the sidelines, waiting to be asked to the dance. I favor aggressive scholarship of engagement, as it was termed by the late Ernest Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

But why do I feel so strongly about this?

It probably has something to do with my Methodist upbringing. I think that anyone — not just scholars, but anyone — who possesses something of value is obliged to share that in some way with humankind. Scholars are uniquely positioned to fulfill this moral obligation when they possess something of value: facts, revelations, insights, thoughtful reflection. Pull the child from the traffic, assist humankind’s search for truth and progress. Both are moral obligations and both require active effort by scholars that go beyond simply sharing with other scholars in the tight little world of academe.

To Be Continued

Houston, We Have a Problem

28 Feb

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including sports disappointment for me recently. Consider the following heartbreak in Houston, where I lived as a kid:

  • College Cup: Following a scoreless draw with defending champ Stanford in the mid-December NCAA soccer title match, my Wake Forest Demon Deacons had a penalty kick opportunity to take home the trophy, but were denied on two straight attempts as the Cardinal, which did not score a goal during the entire Final Four weekend, successfully defended its crown.
  • Super Bowl: Less than two months later in NRG Stadium in Houston, my Atlanta Falcons somehow relinquished a 28-3 second half lead to the hated Patriots to also lose in overtime. The emotional and psychic wounds from this debacle will hurt for a long, long time. My therapist says I’m doing a lot better though: down to only three to five Big Game what-ifs per day now.
  • NCAA Baseball: As if to confirm the horrid luck in Houston, my baseball Deacs were swept by the University of Houston Cougars to open their season a couple weeks after the Super Bowl.

There is a bright side at least: I’ve gotten five Texas magazine freelance assignments in that stretch. All work and no play make Brian a full boy?

Signs of the Time

23 Jan
My high school classmate Ed Helms posted: "No matter how you feel about this election, I hope we all unite behind hilarious wordplay? #WomensMarch"

My high school classmate Ed Helms posted: “No matter how you feel about this election, I hope we all unite behind hilarious wordplay?”

You may have heard that not everybody was celebrating the inauguration this past weekend of the man who bragged about sexual assault, mocked a handicapped person, publicly fat-shamed women and so on and so on. In an awe-inspiring display of strength and solidarity, the Women’s March on Saturday brought together millions across the globe in one purpose: the protection of women’s rights, safety and health.

And they had fun, too! Here’s my Top 10 list of the creative and meaningful signs that protesters made for the march:

10) Men of quality don’t fear equality.

9) Save Melania

8) I can’t believe I STILL have to protest this sh-t!

7) Super, Callous, Fascist, Racist, Extra Braggadocios

6) Does this ass [pic of new POTUS] make my sign look big?

5) I’ve seen better cabinets at IKEA… Keep your tiny hands out of their drawers.

4) My WWII vet grandfather didn’t vote for fascists, he shot them.

3) Make America think again.

2) Women are the Wall and Trump will pay for it.

1) Love Trumps Hate!

My No. 1 lady (middle) and her No. 1 sign in Atlanta on Saturday.

My No. 1 lady (middle) and her No. 1 sign in Atlanta on Saturday.