Nebo South: Why Atlanta?
Atlanta, Georgia is home to beautiful markets, a thriving arts community and, of course, delicious peaches. Now, in 2019, Atlanta is also the home of The Nebo Company’s second office. The opening of the Atlanta office is part of our strategy to expand our geographic footprint and our ability to impact leaders across the country.
One question we’ve received more than any other is, “Why Atlanta?” In other words, what makes Atlanta special, attractive, and a good fit for Nebo? Perhaps one of the most significant reasons that Atlanta captured our attention is a simple one: Atlanta is growing, with opportunities for great leadership abound.
As a long-time resident of Atlanta, I’ll admit to my bias: I love Atlanta. So, in addition to the great business opportunities in Atlanta, here are some things that come to mind for me personally when I answer the question, “Why Atlanta?”
- Atlanta is a livable and relatively affordable metropolis. While greater metro Atlanta is home to approximately six million residents, it is still known as the ‘city in a forest.’ Nearly 48% of the city is covered by urban tree canopy. On a cost of living basis, the Atlanta region is about at the average of places to live in the US (+0.5%), while other major urban centers are considerably more expensive (e.g. DC Metro = +58%, Seattle = +51.9%, Boston = +47%).
- Atlanta is a center of higher education that creates a pipeline of talent for the region. Among many colleges and universities located here, Emory and Georgia Tech rank in the top 100 worldwide. It is also home to a number of HBCU’s and attracts graduates from surrounding universities. Schools and businesses are working hard to keep graduates here. An example is Georgia Tech’s Technology Square, which serves as a hub connecting the academic and business communities.
- Atlanta is a large and growing economic center. It is home to 16 Fortune 500 companies, a large concentration of financial technology companies, healthcare and the attendant ecosystem that serves them. It is also a city focused on serving others. Among the notable non-profits based in Atlanta are The Task Force for Global Health, CARE, American Cancer Society, and The Carter Center.
- I’ve met with many people over the last several months. Whether, corporate, healthcare, education, not-for-profit, or community leaders the conversations often come back to a sense of place and civic spirit. Rodney Slater, former US Secretary of Transportation remarked, “Atlanta is uniquely situated in these times. Government, philanthropic business and other resources are all working hand-in-hand.” This may not be unique to this area, but it has stood out for me.
In Atlanta, there seems to be a growing awareness across all kinds of organizations about the need for strong talent and a desire to invest in leadership development. In fact, the last two business roundtables I’ve attended have both focused on finding and developing talent. The market is also relatively underserved. If you compare Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, you’ll find five times more coaches per GDP in Metro DC as in Metro Atlanta.
It wouldn’t be true to say that everything is rosy here in ATL. With every positive mentioned above, there are risks and challenges, such as: growing deforestation in and around the city; unequal access to the gains from economic growth; racial divisions; fallout from scandals in our public schools, growing shortages in affordable housing; and strained infrastructure. To me, these are also reasons for Nebo to find partners who share our vision about the difference that leaders can make in shaping the future.
We are excited to bring our services to Atlanta. Hope to see y’all down here soon.