American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Chapter presented its National Human Relations Award to Georgia-Pacific President and CEO Jim Hannan in front of 400 supporters Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the St. Regis in Buckhead.
The pre-gala cocktail hour saw a well-healed, diverse crowd among the tuna tartar cones, sun-dried tomatoes with goat cheese, and balls of risotto.
“The AJC does terrific and relevant work, and it’s lovely to support Jim Hannan. After all, Jews are the uniters of change and the embodiment of entrepreneurship,” Renay Blumenthal said.
Former honoree Jack Sawyer said: “The AJC shines a bright light and attracts different business people. Nothing is more appropriate in today’s world.”
Inside the ballroom during the seated dinner, Matthew Bronfman, son of the late philanthropist Edgar Bronfman (CEO of Seagram and president of the World Jewish Congress), took the podium as the national chair of the AJC board of trustees. He urged audience members to roll up their sleeves and stay involved.
Bronfman quoted a family slogan: “ ‘Is this business business or Jewish business?’ The latter meaning ‘Is it the right thing to do?’ ”
He revealed a program consisting of 10 Muslims and 10 Jews working together to make progress on relationships and common events.
Event co-chair Doug Hertz, the president and CEO of United Distributors, began the tribute to Hannan by saying he was “on the one hand a regular guy, one of the folks. On the other hand, a tree standing out in the forest.”
He praised Hannan’s work with underprivileged children and the Woodruff Arts Center.
Hannan accepted the award after a video showcased his role at Georgia-Pacific and the dynamism of the company’s employees and range of products.
Greg Averbuch, the president of AJC Atlanta, was true to his word by concluding the program before 9 p.m.
Photos by Marcia Caller Jaffe