Emerald Corridor Foundation is dedicated to the healthy and sustainable revitalization of Proctor Creek and its surrounding neighborhoods in Northwest Atlanta. 

 

Our Mission

An overview of the Emerald Corridor vision

Emerald Corridor Foundation seeks to foster a healthy environment and support thriving urban communities.  We build greenspaces and restore waterways. We support and engage local communities through partnerships and grants.


Our Goals

  • Restore the natural systems of Proctor Creek
  • Create safe and beautiful greenspaces that support community health and recreation
  • Advance local learning and educational programs
  • Promote job training and employment opportunities
  • Strengthen the fabric of the local neighborhoods


The Emerald Corridor

Connect

from the Beltline to the Chattahoochee

Creating new access from surrounding communities to 400 acres of parks and green space along Proctor Creek. Connecting Atlanta's urban core to Proctor Creek, the Atlanta BeltLine, MARTA, the Atlanta Streetcar, the Chattahoochee River and eventually the Silver Comet Trail in Cobb County.

Restore

natural systems 

Assembling and protecting buffers along the creek. Restoring the creek's natural systems to address flooding and pollution in surrounding neighborhoods resulting from a history of industrial activity, dumping, and insufficient storm water capacity.

Activate

public spaces

Building safe and clean gathering spaces in which to enjoy Atlanta’s rich neighborhood life. Reactivating public places to attract jobs and mixed-use, mixed-income development. Protecting single-family neighborhoods by focusing greater density at key transit oriented areas.

Catalyze

community based development

Encouraging the reuse of land surrounding Proctor Creek by upgrading infrastructure and enhancing community assets to support sustainable community and business growth. Potentially creating more than 15,000 new jobs (according to Invest Atlanta).


Emerald Corridor Foundation was founded in 2014 by a group of landscape architects and investors, inspired by the beauty of the area surrounding Proctor Creek, the neighborhoods’ remarkable transit connectivity, and the opportunity for revitalization. The Foundation’s "lead with green" philosophy aims to protect and restore Proctor Creek’s natural systems and tributaries, create green spaces and parks, and build a seven-mile trail along the creek. The Foundation is forming strategic partnerships to ensure that the green spaces it creates are cared for in perpetuity.

Support for the surrounding community will be demonstrated through giving for education, workforce training and development, environmental restoration and enhancement, health and recreation, arts and culture, and community development. 

The Foundation is implementing its vision in collaboration with partners that include the City of Atlanta, Greening Youth Foundation and other public, private and community partners.  Foundation work is funded via donations, partnerships and grants. Additionally, a U.S. Corps of Engineers program will facilitate funding for the Foundation through its mitigation banking program that awards credits earned through restoration of urban waterways. The credits earned through work on Proctor Creek will be sold to offset environmental impacts elsewhere in the metro region. 

 

 

JOEL BOWMAN LA, CLARB Board Member

JOEL BOWMAN LA, CLARB

Board Member

As principal and founder of B+C Studio, Joel is responsible for the firm’s day to day operations as well as maintaining a critical focus on client services. Prior to forming B+C Studio, Mr. Bowman was the Design Studio Manager for Post Landscape Group where he worked on award winning projects like Cousin’s Avenues projects and many others. He is an energetic and creative designer with over 15 years of professional experience in land planning and landscape architecture known for vigorous leadership that emphasizes the promotion of design innovation through collaboration and creative thinking. Joel has worked on a diverse range of projects including a number of master-planned communities and neighborhoods, mixed-use and urban infill developments, retail and office projects. His areas of expertise include neighborhood and community planning, office and retail site planning, site design, land use consultation, corporate and residential amenity area development.


DEBRA A. EDELSON Executive Director Board Member

DEBRA A. EDELSON

Executive Director

Board Member

Debra is currently the Executive Director and Board Member of the Emerald Corridor Foundation. She was previously a Senior Program Director for the Trust for Public Land (TPL) where she managed the Georgia Office’s greenspace and conservation programs, including the Proctor Creek Greenway, Chattahoochee Valley Blueway, and Chattahoochee River transaction work. Prior to that, she directed the Real Estate program for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. Debra resided in NYC for many years where she launched the iconic NYC High Line park while representing CSX Corporation. Previous to that she held a post in the New York City Mayor’s Office, and two years with the City of New York’s Economic Development Corporation. Debra serves on the Board of Directors of the South Fork Conservancy, and recently completed six years of service as a Planning Commissioner in Dekalb County, GA. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from New York University and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University.


JASON K. EDWARDS Board Member

JASON K. EDWARDS

Board Member

Jason is Founder and principal investor Providence Realty Investors (PRI).  PRI is a boutique investment firm with $250MM in assets under management that invest directly in projects, provides third-party asset management and underwriting services for owners of apartment projects.  He is a multifamily real estate investment professional with 15 years of diverse experience. Prior to PRI, Jason worked in Development with the Integral Group, asset management at Fairfield Residential in Boston, and Boston Capital Corporation.  He served on the YMCA Head Start Board for North Georgia for several years, was a Big with Brothers Big Sisters of Atlanta and currently serves as Co-Founder and Chairman of a non-profit that raises scholarships for students attending Morehouse College.  He also serves on the Morehouse College President’s Advisory Board. Jason holds a Masters of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Morehouse College and is licensed by the Georgia Real Estate Commission.”


DANIEL GURA Board Member

DANIEL GURA

Board Member

Daniel has over 10 years of experience in financial services. He began as an Analyst at Bank of America in its Leverage Finance Division on the Loan Syndications Desk. Daniel went on to become a Fixed-Income Research Associate focusing on the media and telecom sectors. He has also worked for the mission-based investment fund Local Initiatives Support Corporation, where he helped manage the organization’s portfolio and underwriting operations. Daniel also spent some time with an Atlanta/London based hedge fund, Gallery Capital Management, an alternative fund that invests in specialty insurance risk at the Lloyd’s of London insurance marketplace. Most recently, Daniel joined Habitat For Humanity International (HFHI) as the Director of Capital Markets and Financial Systems where he manages an impact investment fund for HFHI and advises on a broader array of financial transactions.

Daniel received his BA, with a focus on American politics, from Williams College, where he remains active and serves as a vice-chair of its Alumni Fund. He is committed to helping improve his community, and is a co-founder and current board member of Crawfish for Cancer. Daniel lives in Atlanta with his wife, Laura Kolesar Gura, and 8 month old daughter, Mirele Grace Gura.”

 


CHERYL HAAS Board Member

CHERYL HAAS

Board Member

Cheryl is a litigation partner at McGuireWoods LLP.  She has 20 years of experience representing Fortune 100 companies in complex matters in federal and state courts as well as in investigations before federal and state securities regulators. Cheryl has lived in Atlanta for 15 years.


JEREMY KRANOWITZ Board Member

JEREMY KRANOWITZ

Board Member

Jeremy is the Executive Director of Sustainable America, implementing its strategic plan to raise consumer awareness around sustainable food and fuel issues, and to support entrepreneurs working on these issues to make our nation more efficient, resilient and sustainable. Prior to Sustainable America, Jeremy worked for a decade at The Keystone Center on the nation’s toughest energy and environmental issues as a mediator, facilitator, and educator. Jeremy worked for the Izaak Walton League on a clean air campaign on behalf of hunters and fishers, and helped launch Forest Trends, an international sustainable forestry non-profit. He also worked for five years at McKinsey & Co in its environment practice, working with Fortune 500 companies. He has an MS in Environmental Science and BA in Social Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, and an MPA in Environmental Policy from New York University.


DAVID MOODY Board Member

DAVID MOODY

Board Member

David is the CEO and owner of C.D. Moody Construction Company, an Atlanta-based general contracting and construction management firm. His projects include such iconic Atlanta buildings as Morehouse College's Ray Charles Performing Arts Center and Music Academic Building, the New World of Coca-Cola, and the Cyclorama addition and renovations at the Atlanta History Center. David is the recipient of many distinguished awards and honors from prestigious Atlanta and national organizations, like the "2009 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Who’s Who – 100 People to Know in Atlanta’s Commercial Real Estate Scene", and the "2014 Morehouse College Outstanding Alumnus Entrepreneur Award." He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Morehouse College and the Atlanta Area Council Boy Scouts of America. David has a BS in Psychology from Morehouse College, a Bachelor of Architecture 5 year professional degree from Howard University, has completed graduate courses in architecture and construction management at the University of Michigan and Georgia Tech, and was a fellow at Harvard University in the Advanced Leadership Initiative program in 2015.


LEONARD MURRAY Chairman

LEONARD MURRAY

Chairman

Leonard is Managing Partner and co-founder of Zion Consulting Group, a real estate and business development advisory firm serving non-profits, faith based institutions and corporations. He is also Managing Partner and co-founder of ZL Development Group, which partners with faith based institutions to develop their real estate assets. Leonard has over 23 years of real estate, consulting, global asset management and investment banking experience, including roles with Merrill Lynch & Co.’s corporate finance/investment banking division and Alliance Capital Management International. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Youthbuild Newark a non-profit, which helps high school dropouts complete their education while training them in the construction field; as well as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of East Orange General Hospital, a 325-bed urban hospital serving the community of East Orange, NJ. 


MARLENA NORRIS Board Member

MARLENA NORRIS

Board Member

Marlena Norris is the principal and founder of The Laundry Club with an existing location on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and a second location to open on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in early 2017.  She is a senior finance executive with 30 years of financial management, accounting and auditing experience who’s spent the last 15 years as V.P. of Finance for InterContinental Hotels Group, Inc.  Her background also includes finance and accounting roles in the oil and gas, freight forwarding and logistics, temporary staffing and public accounting industries.  She’s previously served on the boards of Jomandi Productions and YWCA Atlanta, and is currently a member of On Board.


DENISE QUARLES Board Member

DENISE QUARLES

Board Member

Denise is an operations executive with 20 years of experience in both the public and private sector, who recently served as the director of the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, where she was responsible for developing Atlanta’s first comprehensive sustainability plan the lead to passing some of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation that Atlanta has seen in its history. Previous to that Denise was Vice President of Environmental Affairs for Southwire Corp. North America’s leading producer of electric wiring and cabling. Denise held various executive positions as Portfolio Manager, Operations Manager, and Paint Center Manager at DaimlerChrysler, where she gained extensive experience in business and operations management during her 11-year tenure. She is a member of the EarthShare Georgia Board of Directors, serves on the advisory board for Emory University Board of Visitors, the Southeast Rainwater Harvesting Systems Association and The Nature Conservancy Georgia LEAF Program and others.


MARK TEIXEIRA Board Member

MARK TEIXEIRA

Board Member

Mark attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta where he was the recipient of the Dick Howser Award, which recognizes College Baseball’s most outstanding athlete. His professional baseball career began in 2002 when he was drafted by the Texas Rangers. He played for the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Angels before signing his current eight year contract with the New York Yankees. Mark has been recognized during his outstanding career with a number of honors including five Gold Glove Awards, three Silver Slugger Awards and three American League All-Star Team selections. Mark is actively involved in community support programs in a number of cities. He is committed to education and established scholarship endowments at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore and The Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. In New York City, Mark is a member of the Board of Directors and leads the capital campaign for Harlem RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Intercity), a program designed to help urban youth learn, play and grow. He also supports The DREAM Charter School.


NICK TILLER Board Member

NICK TILLER

Board Member

Nick Tiller is the founder of Sustainable America, a nonprofit dedicated to making our nation's food and energy systems more sustainable through education and impact investing.  For 12 years, Nick managed a long/short equity and commodity portfolio at SAC Capital / Point 72 with over $1.5 billion gross capital.  Prior to that, at Fidelity Investments, Nick was a food sector analyst, then an energy analyst and portfolio manager of the Fidelity Select Energy Services Fund. After becoming increasingly concerned about the vulnerable state of our food and fuel systems, Nick created Sustainable America to focus national attention on these intertwined issues.  Sustainable America, although a public charity, believes in utilizing the capital markets to accomplish its charitable mission. All of its assets are invested in impact-aligned investments. While attending Harvard Business School, Nick co-founded the Harbus Foundation, a grant-making, student-run charity.  He serves on the board of trustees of The Nature Conservancy, Connecticut.