The Atlanta Journal-Constitution International Auto Show l returned to the Georgia World Congress Center for its 29th anniversary March 23 - 27 2011.
Acura, Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Kia, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln-Mercury, Lotus, Mazda, Mini, Nissan, Scion, Subaru, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo all brought their 2012 cars to the Auto "Big Dance."The Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) C Building was buzzing with people with "oohs and ahs" as they sat in cars they could afford and cars they have always dreamed of being behind the wheel of.
The automakers had the usual spokesmodel eye candy by their premiere vehicles to draw you to their vehicle. Don't let the good looks fool you though they knew their stuff and were more than happy to talk vehicle specs with you without breaking a sweat.Porsche (their entire line), Hyundai Equus, Lexus IS C, Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XJ, Lamborghini
/Lotus, Audi A7 and R8, Chrysler 300 and the convertible Nissan Murano were show stealers. For the vehicles the crowd were not allowed to get into the dealers were scheduling test drives for a later date. Kia allowed show goers to test drive their Optima while they were at the Auto Show.I talked with Mr. Stacey Settle, Audi Brand Specialist, of Gwinnett Audi
about Audi's 2012 lineup especially the all new A7
. I asked Mr. Settle about Audi going "Green". He informed me Audi would be coming out with a hybrid very soon. The Q5 will be the first Hybrid model Audi introduces to the U.S.A.
market; with the Q5 TDI to quickly follow He did not know of any plans for Audi to build an electric car in the near future but he informed me Audi is definitely willing to do its part to meet U.S. government regulations for fuel efficient vehicles and going "Green". We talked about the all new A7 and how it came to be. Think of a sporty A6 with a Bentley inspired rear end and you have an idea of the new A7. The A7 is for those who like the A6 but want a sportier, sexier look. It has the same engine and horsepower but comes with a sportier package which caters to those who want a little more umph! Enjoy pics of the R8 Audi's premiere car and the A7 below.
At any show you always have to take pics of cars you hope to one day afford. Lamborghini was present with Lotus and Aston Martin showcasing their cars.
Next up was Lexus. Nalley Lexus of Roswell
brought their new convertible to go along with its long list of hybrids. The IS C is a fine automobile in it's own right, but when you add a 3 piece aluminum hardtop ... jackpot. I already have a hardtop convertible, so why am I impressed? Because even with the roof in the trunk you still have the trunk space for items. That is a win-win situation.
Pictured below is the Lexus HS 250h Hybrid vehicle. I found it to be a very nice vehicle for those who are more into gas mileage than speed. It has 187 total horsepower. The big thing to know about Lexus and their hybrids is they generate power off of braking. Atlanta traffic is perfect for this but if you work from home or you primarily drive highway miles you lose the true hybrid effect.
The 2011 Georgia Technology Summit was held 23 March at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, GA. The Georgia Technology Summit brings together the largest gathering of C level executives, CEO, CTO, CIO, entrepreneurs, academia and more to celebrate the states global leadership in technology innovation. From the top 40 most innovative companies in Georgia to the introduction ceremonies of the newly selected member of the prestigious Technology Hall of Fame, world class speakers, ground breaking innovation presentation and TAG exclusive state technology industry report and more, much more.
The Summit was sponsored by TAG. What or who is TAG you say? TAG stands for Technology Association of Georgia
. TAG is a leading force behind technology advancement in Georgia. TAG started in 1998 and they are moving from being 'connectors' to job creation and innovation in the state.
The Cobb Galleria Centre was a great choice for the Summit due to its ample parking, great meeting spaces and amenities. There were over 1000 people in attendance but you didn't feel cramped.
The Summit was hosted by Mr. Robert Hendricks, 2011 Georgia Technology Summit Committee Chair. As a host of events myself I always like to see how my hosting peers fair. Mr. Hendricks was amiable, witty, and kept you engaged. Mr. Hendricks did a great job hosting the event. Mr. Hendricks introduced the featured speaker for the event Ms. Lisa Gansky
. Ms. Gansky is author of The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing
Ms. Gansky explained how we can all embrace The Mesh. We were informed the world is moving from a “what the economy is now” to a pursuit of “what comes next” era. The idea of sharing things is the future of business. The Recession has caused us to evaluate how we view things in life. Population increase, climate change, world wide connectivity is a key ingredient and changing our habits(which is hard) are also major factors. We only change habits when our pants are on fire. We must make sharing irresistible?
Foursquare and its convergence with businesses is one example of this hypothesis. Venture Capitalism to start a company is far less than in the past, information is plentiful but trust and attention is scarce. Pop up stores are an example of how things are changing. Mortar and brick business are no longer the standard. Transforming value to data is one way to notice we are at the genesis of the mesh. Social Networking is a big part of the mesh being mobile. Convenience in acquiring a product is a stalwart of any thriving business. The mesh is good for testing new products and thru partnering the goal is to increase each others visions without increasing competition between each other.
The Top 10 Summit showcased the Top 10 companies out of 40 companies that distinguished themselves for innovation. Technology companies with innovative and breakthrough technologies that will generate economic growth of Ga, the US and the world. Damballa
received Top 10 Innovative Technology Award from the TAG. "Damballa has been transforming the fight against cybercrime since it was founded out of Georgia Tech in 2006, and it continues to accelerate innovation in network security," said Tino Mantella, president & CEO of TAG. Damballa provides the only network security solution that detects and terminates remote-control communication used by criminals to breach networks.
The Georgia Technology Summit provided the attendees a look at the 2011 State of the Industry Technology in Georgia report. The report mentioned TAG is helping build a technology based economy in Georgia with over 12500 members, 170 diff meetings via 30 interest groups. TAG delivered 3 bills to date to the governor they have all been signed. They are advancing a statewide agenda, hired a technology evangelist to promote Georgia technology and currently constructing a market place as part of the mesh. Georgia is viewed as agriculture and forestry state but did you know tech jobs lead Georgia labor market? Challenges Georgia faces are lack of water, bad traffic, and K-12 education deficiencies. Assets Georgia maintains are its world class airport, 2 or more universities in the nation’s top 10 universities, 4th in top 500 companies based in a state and Port of Savannah being a crown jewel of ports. Tech jobs lead Georgia labor market.
Georgia led the nation in business start-ups last year. Georgia technology industry growth leads the U.S. due to Georgia's fastest growing technologies, Health IT, Information Security, financial technology and IT communications Georgia leads the country in many areas of the technology sector.
The culmination of the Summit was the induction of Mr. Tripp Rackley into the Georgia Technology Hall of Fame. Mr. Rackley gave a heartfelt speech thanking his family for their support. What stood out most was, of all the things he has accomplished in his life he is most proud of his ability to close the deal which landed him the love of a woman, his wife. Who says we geeks don't have a romantic side? He also reminded us if we don't believe in ourselves and without family we will always wonder "What if?". Congratulations to Mr. Rackley for his past, present and many endeavors in the future.
The Georgia Technology Summit was a networking and showcasing marvel. I would highly recommend it to anyone in who is interested in GA technology pursuance. I would like to thank Dan Webber, CIO extraordinaire, Melanie Brandt , Chief Operating Officer, Technology Association of Georgia, Becky Biggs, TAG Technology Evangelist and last but not least TAG for inviting me to blog about their event.
Of course, when you hear the words Love Jones you automatically think of the movie directed by Theodore Witcher starring Larenz Tate, Nia Long, and Isaiah Washington. The Love Jones taking place on Sundays elicits the same cerebral memories as the movie.
Love Jones Sundays in Atlanta started at Vino Libro restaurant in January 2010 and is the brainchild of and hosted by the incomparable Hank Stewart
Mr. Stewart, who didn’t write his first poem until May ’91, has authored several books and has his own foundation aptly named The Stewart Foundation
. Mr. Stewart released his first poetic video about the power, intelligence, and sensuality of women named IT
. You know what?! I'm going to stop typing and let Mr. Stewart explain how "Him Smelling Me on You" especially when you are "Chocolate" can make a man exclaim "Damn!"
Presently Love Jones Sundays takes place at Mingles Martini Bar & Grill
in downtown Atlanta. When you arrive you are greeted with a big smile by Maureen Stubbs, one of Mr. Stewart’s assistants, who takes your admission fee and answers any questions you may have. You are surrounded by the smooth sounds Neo-Soul, Jazz, etc. putting you in the proper mood for the night’s maestros of aural seduction. If you have talent and would like to be showcased, you see Mitsah Henry, Mr. Stewart’s other assistant, and she will add your name to the list of performers for the evening.
Mr. Stewart grabs the mic and entices the crowd to drink and eat up because it always makes the performances that much better. Mingles diverse menu boasts fine American cuisine with international flare satisfying the insatiable palettes of the corporate executive, dining enthusiasts, fun-seeking tourists, and city residents.
Mr. Stewart then recites the Love Jones Sundays "House Rules".
- Please respect the mic.
- Cheer for each performer like it’s your child, and they are giving the Easter Sunday Speech and don’t know the words.
Loves Jones Sundays is mainly known for its spoken word artists. The format is simple: there are performers and a featured artist for the evening. For the next few hours, you are entertained by performers who are gracing the mic for the first time to acclaimed artists who have performed around the world in front of thousands. You can even purchase CD’s and books from the artists who have moved you while in attendance.
From time to time gracing Love Jones with his talent is Jay White
. I would submit this dude into any poetry cipher just because I know the others would sleep on him; they would say, "Here is another dude with locs in a suit and look he even brought a wooden platform with him." as they laugh amongst themselves. Not only is he an author, poet, movie maker, play director, actor and philanthropist, he even has the tap dancing skills. He does 'almost' as much as the Army does before 9 A.M. After their laughter subsides I would then watch Jay White tell them about "Fame".
I received a call from Kevin Douglas
, informing me he was having a birthday party in Charlotte, NC, and I had to be there. Where to stay? Where to stay? My choice due to closeness to the party venue and suite style hotel, my favorite type of hotel, was the Embassy Suites Charlotte (Executive Park South Area)
Upon my arrival at the Embassy Suites I was greeted by Denisa. Denisa is one of the nicest front desk persons I have encountered on the plethora of hotel trips I have taken around the world. She greeted me with a great big smile, welcomed me back from previous stays, and checked me in.
The amenities at the Embassy Suites are immense. Across from the front desk area is a sitting area with a TV tuned to the latest sports or information channel. As you make your way to the Atrium area, you will notice Embassy Suites signature waterfalls. Mixed in between waterways are tables and an Internet Station. This makes for a great conversation area as well as great photo ops.
The 1st floor contains a meeting room, a functional gym, mini bar, dining area, and breakfast stations. The most endearing part of the hotel to the youth is the indoor swimming pool, which stays packed. The crown gem of the Embassy Suites is Omaha Steakhouse, a premiere restaurant known for its steaks and home delivery of its steak product.
Riding the glass elevators to your room, you get an impressive aerial view of the atrium. There is greenery placed on each floor to match the theme of the 1st floor. You get an Eden type effect from the sound of the waterfalls and the greenery giving you peace of mind as you arrive at your room.
Entering your room, you find a spacious living room type area with a couch, business desk, and flat screen TV. As you go towards the bedroom section, you encounter your microwave, refrigerator, sink and counter area. The bathroom is roomy enough for two people to fit in comfortably. The bedroom is a nice size and has great amenities.
I have stayed in quite a few Embassy Suites across the country, but this hotel seems to draw more families. My overall experience has was great. For business travelers, you will love the stay during the week but if you are looking for a quiet environment it can be a little noisy and hectic on the weekends. For families looking for a kid friendly place to stay, look no further this is the property. Embassy Suites job well done.