Givers 5

Lynn Mercer

Reynoldstown

Speech and Language Pathologist

Where she gives:  Plywood People, Paint Love, Blueprint 58, Urban Perform, The Atlanta Foster Care Alliance, Love Not Lost, Leaving Nothing Unsaid, Spoonful of Imagination Art Studio, Global Year, Camp Grace, Peace Preparatory Academy

One thing I would do to make the world a better place: Encourage others to embrace humility (Phil 2:3) which leads to the choice to show kindness to one another.

“Giving is good!  Generosity, giving without expecting anything in return, is even better as it ironically gives back to the giver,” says Lynn. Her passion for giving is credited to her mother, who despite being a single mom, gave her time freely which brought about joy even in harder times. Lynn and her husband have continued the gift of giving and for the last 30 years Lynn has supported many local charities by volunteering, donating, funding, and providing leadership. Plywood People offered Lynn the chance to see an idea turn into a reality. It is a non-profit in Atlanta that leads a community of start-ups doing good and she beams, “Through Plywood I meet innovators who are about the business of changing our world for the better.” 

Cromwell Baun

Virginia Highland

Financial Advisor, First Vice President – Wealth Management, UBS

Where he gives:  The Ron Clark Academy, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Man & Woman of the Year, The University of Tennessee – Knoxville Alumni Association Atlanta Chapter, 

One thing I would do to make the world a better place:   I would make sure that everyone each day puts a little joy in their life and the lives of those who merit it.

Cromwell is a likeable, and very passionate giver. When he talks about The Ron Clark Academy his eyes light up, and serving as a member on their Board of Trustees he’s learned it’s more than a school, it is setting kids up for a life of giving back. Cromwell seems to dive head first into whatever he does. He also volunteers for his professional organizations. As a single Atlantan, Cromwell enjoys Atlanta Braves baseball, collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia, and traveling anywhere that requires a passport.

Caitlin Bohannon

Midtown Atlanta

Research Fellow at the CDC

Where she gives: Caitlin helps feed her neighbors. She volunteers with the Intown Collaborative Ministries at the food pantry, helping to provide food to families in need in the intown area. She works with Glenn Memorial Church’s Snack in a Backpack program and Emory’s Graduation Generation program, providing food for the weekend for students who are on free and reduced lunches during the week, as well as to several local families with school-aged children. “But the Food Pantry holds a special place in my heart because I get to meet with the people we serve, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know my neighbors much better over the years,” she says. 

One thing I do to try and make the world a better place: Encourage more people to work directly in their communities to alleviate the problems of hunger, violence, inequality in education, and social injustice. So often people think of these as problems that occur elsewhere, and not in our own neighborhoods. It’s also very easy to fall into the trap of thinking there’s nothing we can do as individuals, but I think a lot of people would be amazed how much they can help out others in need, especially with the help of organizations like the Intown Collaborative Ministries. And so I really urge people to go out in their community to see what needs they can help meet, and get to know their neighbors a little better in the process.

David Gillespie

Midtown

Sales leadership and talent development consultant in educational technology, and most recently, is a co-founder of Oceans Three Talent Group, an executive recruiting firm.

One thing I would do to make the world a better place: I have three ideas – Spend my time on the right things. Listen more and talk less. Do something, instead of wishing I would.

Where he gives: Focusing on the city’s chronically homeless population, he helps with immediate needs like food and clothing, as well as helps them navigate getting other services, like employment,  substance abuse treatment, and transitional or permanent housing. Co-founder and Executive Director of The River, a program of Va Hi Church dedicated to transforming the way that Atlanta responds to and views homelessness.  After spending years as a volunteer advocate for LGBTQ equality, David moved closer to downtown in 2007 and began to learn about the lives, experiences and challenges of those experiencing homelessness, and wanted to make a direct impact. A $1M gift allows The River to partner with organizations that are executing on innovate ways to get our fellow Atlantans out of the cycle of homelessness. 

John E. Webster, II

President of Real Estate Management Services 
Group in Midtown

How he gives: John Webster is the board chair of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, where he’s served for 18 years as an active board member, instrumental during all major capital improvements and beautification projects that took place in Piedmont Park including the Northwoods Expansion. John helps the Conservancy with his connections whenever he can. He has been directly responsible for creating neighborhood support of the Piedmont Park Conservancy’s work. He has recruited his company to be a donor to the Conservancy and hosted prospect events with his friends.  He is an Olmsted Society member and gives to the Party for Piedmont Park and Landmark Luncheon – two major fundraisers for the Conservancy.

William Fogler

Founder, WM Events

How he gives: The ultimate host, William is on the boards of MODA and CHOA Hughes Spalding and provides significant support to Caring For Others. He actively uses his talents in event design to support the organizations and their fundraising efforts. William’s 13-year-old company WM Events handles a plethora of fundraisers for nonprofit organizations like MedShare International, A Weekend to Remember, Goodwill of North Georgia, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and many others, helping them maximize the experience and fun for their guests and supporters so that they can increase their fundraising results. Recently, WM Events started a program where they donate floral arrangements after events to senior living facilities. He volunteers his time with Techbridge, MedShare, Sheltering Arms. WM Events, an event design firm in West Midtown, provides event production/design services and consulting worldwide.

Zack Schnyder

Midtown 

Guest Services Ambassador 
at Salesforce in Buckhead

How he gives: Zack is a lead organizer of a monthly charity brunch called Respect The Brunch, which aims to to help raise awareness and funds to further the efforts of LGBT organizations here in the local Atlanta area. The event is usually hosted from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month at Zocalo in Midtown. Respect The Brunch has worked with many not-for-profits including AID Atlanta, Lost-n-Found Youth, PFLAG, and Voices of Note, benefitting the Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus and Atlanta Women’s Chorus. At Salesforce, giving back is part of their DNA offering employees 7 days of Volunteer Time Off.  Zack’s parents were officers in the Salvation Army and created a campaign against hospital-acquired infections, called Safe Care Campaign. The work they’ve done has helped save thousands of lives. It’s Zack’s aspiration to follow in those footsteps.