ATLANTA (February 25, 2016) – Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) along with Georgia Technology Summit’s presenting sponsor, Global Payments, announced today that noted businessman and philanthropist Arthur M. Blank, will be honored with TAG’s prestigious “Captain of Innovation” award at the annual Georgia Technology Summit on March 17, 2016. Blank will participate in a one-on-one fireside chat with TAG President/CEO Tino Mantella.
Blank received his business degree in 1963 from Babson College in Massachusetts. After working a few years as an accountant he joined the family pharmaceutical company which was bought out by a convenience store company. While at the company he quickly moved up to become president of the drug store division. When the drug store division was sold off, Blank left to work at Handy Dan Home Improvement, where he met Bernie Marcus. After both Marcus and Blank were fired from Handy Dan in 1978, they co-founded The Home Depot and went on to build it into one of America’s great entrepreneurial success stories. His retirement from The Home Depot in 2001 was very short Blank waited only a year into retirement before buying the National Football League’s Atlanta Falcons.
As Chairman and Owner of the Atlanta Falcons, Blank has dramatically increased the sales and the net worth of the Falcons from $545 million to its current $1.7 billion valuation. The team is currently riding a streak of seven consecutive sellout seasons. Constantly striving, Blank acquired the rights to bring a Major League Soccer team Atlanta, Atlanta United FC. The soccer team is set to start playing in 2017 in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which Blank is building to be home to the Falcons, Atlanta United and many other large-scale sports and entertainment events Blank also now owns the PGA TOUR Superstores and Montana’s acclaimed Mountain Sky Guest Ranch.
All of Blank’s businesses operate on a common set of core values: focus on developing customer relationships, treating associates with respect, and supporting communities where they operate. With a strong belief in making a difference, Blank has a history of community involvement and support. While Blank was co-chairman at The Home Depot, the company donated $113 million to communities along with hundreds of volunteer hours from associates. His own foundation, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, has granted more than $300 million to support myriad causes, including: early childhood development, education, the arts, development of parks and many other efforts to improve lives.
“Arthur Blank’s experience will be a welcome addition to the Georgia Technology Summit, which is expected to draw a crowd of more than 1,300 C-level executives, entrepreneurs, technology professionals and academics to celebrate and recognize Georgia’s technology community,” said TAG President/CEO Tino Mantella. “We are honoring Mr. Blank with the “Captain of Innovation” award in recognition of his business leadership and commitment to excellence through innovation.” Among other things, Mr. Blank will discuss the unique design of the new stadium.
In addition to presentations from some of the top technology influencers in the nation, forty new companies will be named as TAG’s Top 40 Innovative Companies and the newest member of the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia will be inducted.
For more information about TAG and the Georgia Technology Summit and to register for the event, visit: http://www.tagonline.org/events/georgia-technology-summit/
About The Technology Association of Georgia (TAG)
TAG is the leading technology industry association in the state, serving more than 30,000 members through regional chapters in Metro Atlanta, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon/Middle Georgia and Savannah.
TAG’s mission is to educate, promote, and unite Georgia’s technology community to foster an innovative and connected marketplace that stimulates and enhances a tech-based economy. The association provides networking and educational programs; celebrates Georgia’s technology leaders and companies; and advocates for legislative action that enhances the state’s economic climate for technology.
TAG hosts over 200 events each year and serves as an umbrella organization for 34 professional societies. Additionally, the TAG Education Collaborative (TAG’s charitable arm) focuses on helping science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education initiatives thrive.
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