Atlanta, March 14, 2012 – The Board of Directors of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) elected John W. Somerhalder II as Chairman of the Board at its meeting this morning. Mr. Somerhalder has served as a member of the Board since 2009. Mr. Somerhalder is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of AGL Resources and serves as Chairman of the Board for The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. He will continue to serve on the board of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, which will seek a new chair. Mr. Somerhalder replaces Beth Chandler, who had served as Chair of ABI since November, 2009. Ms. Chandler was elected to serve as Vice Chair of the Board.
“It is an honor to serve as Chairman for the organization that is implementing one of the most comprehensive, sustainable and transformative projects in the nation,” said Mr. Somerhalder. “As Chairman of The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, we worked hard to cultivate strong support from and partnerships with the private and nonprofit sectors. Working with the Board and Staff of ABI we will build on our successful partnerships and create new ones as we refine a strategy to fully develop the Atlanta BeltLine and all of its potential.”
“John Somerhalder’s experience, leadership and relationships throughout the region and the nation will help propel the Atlanta BeltLine forward, making it a model for other regions,” Mayor Kasim Reed said. “He has been a great champion of the City of Atlanta and the Atlanta BeltLine, and he is the ideal Chairman at this time. I also deeply appreciate Beth Chandler for her leadership and service as ABI’s Board Chair for the past two and a half years.”
“We are very excited to welcome John Somerhalder as Chairman of ABI,” said Brian Leary, President and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “He has been a great leader and advocate in his capacities as an ABI Board member and as Chairman of The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. We are very fortunate to have an executive and national leader such as John as our Chairman.”
With more than three decades in the energy industry, including state and regulatory experience in multiple jurisdictions, Mr. Somerhalder was named president and chief executive officer of AGL Resources in March 2006 and elected as chairman of the company’s board of directors in November 2007. AGL Resources is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services, midstream operations and cargo shipping. As the nation’s largest natural gas-only distributor based on customer count, AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states.
Mr. Somerhalder is a member of the board of the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta, where he successfully chaired the 2009 United Way Campaign for metro Atlanta during difficult economic times and served an unprecedented second term as chair of the 2010 campaign.
Mr. Somerhalder holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. He and his wife, Rebecca, live in Atlanta. They have four grown children and five grandchildren.
About the Atlanta BeltLine:
The Atlanta BeltLine is the most comprehensive economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. The Atlanta BeltLine is a sustainable redevelopment project that will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails, transit and affordable housing along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is the entity tasked with planning and executing the implementation of the Atlanta BeltLine in partnership with other public and private organizations, including City of Atlanta departments. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit www.BeltLine.org.
Ethan Davidson, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
(404) 614-8325, edavidson@atlbeltLine.org