Five Local Men You Should Know
Philip Rafshoon usually starts his day with a run or bike ride through Piedmont Park to get his focus and a good scan of Midtown.
As the director of member engagement at Midtown Alliance, Philip is dedicated to checking the pulse of the community. Each week, he works on connecting leaders, employees and residents at the nonprofit’s 400-member organizations through programs, including the popular “Let’s Talk Midtown” and “Mix It Up Midtown” events.
“One of my favorite things to do is to stop into a variety of different places,” he says. “There are now abundant quality choices in dining, nightlife, and culture in Midtown.”
Philip offered Midtown its own gem before he joined Midtown Alliance. He owned and operated Outwrite, the South’s largest LGBTQ bookstore and coffeehouse, which transformed many people’s lives over its 20-year legacy of sharing stories.
“I’ve seen many changes, and life changes, of people in Midtown,” Philip says. “It continues to be the center and pulse of the city for so many people.”
Chad White hits the ground running. He puts on his fitness watch, mentally prepares for the day and jogs the neighborhood streets in Midtown. After, he trades the tracker for one of his father’s watches and heads to Union Diamond in Ponce City Market.
“Jewelry is a tangible way to remember intangible things,” Chad says.
The CEO of Union Diamond sells a wide selection of diamond rings, earrings and necklaces, but believes jewelry has the power to create legacies. Chad has three watches from his father, and while none are particularly handsome or expensive, each one connects him to memories of his father. Chad often works with clients who inherit jewelry and reimagines pieces to both to serve as a tribute, while reflecting a new chapter in the family history. With Chad’s attention to quality, all jewelry, old or new, can serve as a reminder of love for years to come.
People don’t like calling Riah Greathouse. But they call on the worst of days because they know personal injury attorney Riah will be on the other end of the line to help Atlanta navigate nightmares with confidence.
“It’s great when you are not only able to hear their problems, but you are actually able to solve their problems. It’s fulfilling,” Riah says. “You are literally dealing with people’s problems—that’s your job. They have questions, and they don’t know what’s next. We connect the dots for them.”
After troubleshooting people’s problems, he doesn’t take work home. Between his family and church family, he’s able to grow in empathy while separating business. The Falcons and Braves fan escapes to games and swings away stress at Top Golf in Midtown.
While a student at Georgia Tech, Weslee Knapp walked the streets of Midtown with an eye open. Today, the president and broker of Keller Knapp Inc. sets his eyes on the growth in Midtown.
“Watching Midtown start its transformation certainly lead me to see the opportunity in real estate, economic development and how you can influence communities,” Weslee says.
Weslee studied industrial and systems engineering but found himself moonlighting nights and weekends to learn about the real estate world. Fast-forward 20 years, and he’s one of the top 10 real estate agents in metro Atlanta. He manages four offices, more than 100 real estate agents and office space in Midtown.
“Whether we have more agents, invest in more buildings or sell more real estate, I want to see how much I can influence in the next 20 to 30 years of my career.”
While every day is different for commercial real estate expert Tom Tumbleson, he knows he can count on two things: good coffee and even better conversation. Tom helps Midtown identify spaces to get work done by understanding the diverse needs of his clients, which means getting to know them at a personal level.
“Midtown has a lot of good opportunities, and there is a place for everyone to thrive here,” he says. “People work differently, and I enjoy connecting people with spaces that energize them.”
In the eight years he’s been in Atlanta, Tom has helped a range of clients from single business entrepreneurs looking for startup spaces all the way to large companies ready for several thousands of square feet to accommodate their growing team. While Tom finds that some clients prefer private offices to work in solitude while others need open energy with chatter and music, he has his own secret to productivity: a little coffee goes a long way.