- Created on 23 May 2013
The first time L. Chris Stewart stood in front of his peers in Southwest Atlanta prepared to speak, words stuck in his throat. He had a story to tell, but nothing came out. Not a stutter. Not a whisper. He was mortified. He was 10 years old. And, it was the last time that would happen.
He would grow up eventually to become one of Atlanta's most eloquent and successful African-American lawyers. And, he has recently reached a new height with the opening of his firm Stewart, Seay & Felton (www.ssfjustice.com) law offices in downtown Atlanta.
Stewart has achieved many accolades in his career including The Nation's Best Advocates "40 Under 40" and recognition from Super Lawyers for the years 2011 through 2013. But, in his youth, his was an unending battle to overcome shyness and cultivate a smooth and articulate social style.
He credits a transfer in high school to the The Lovett School for helping with that battle and leading him to his life's work. "This is where I learned how to interact with others not like me while cultivating my life skills."
He attended undergraduate school at Xavier University in Louisiana where he became determined to help communities through public service. Following graduation from Xavier, he attended grad school at Tulane University in pursuit of his dream job. During this time, Stewart was part of an EPA Taskforce that would go into local towns testing the contents of the sewage and look for the presence of air pollution, amongst other things. While working for the doing this work Stewart decided that he would best serve the community by becoming a lawyer.
This way he could not only recognize issues in the community, but he could get justice through the legal system. He had found his voice.
Stewart graduated from Howard University Law School and left his learning disabilities from youth far behind. At Howard University, he was part of a National Championship mock trial team. Shortly after that, he caught the eye of the comedian Bill Cosby and began travelling with him to speaking engagements. Along with Cosby, Stewart looks up to Florida attorney Willie Gary whom he credits with showing him what it's like to be a trial lawyer.
No other person may have had as big of an effect on Stewart's adult life as Attorney Keenan S. Nix. Nix, along with Chris Graddock offered Chris Stewart his first job after he passed the Bar Exam. Usually the firm of Nix & Graddock wouldn't hire such a young attorney but by then Stewart had developed the "gift of gab" and talked his way into a position.
Eventually Nix, Graddock & Stewart Florida based law firm, Morgan & Morgan (www.forthepeople.com) bought the firm of Nix & Graddock. There, he would become one of the most successful personal injury lawyers in Atlanta. In 2009, L. Chris Stewart became Partner in the Morgan & Morgan Atlanta law office.
Over the years Stewart has represented more 2500 individuals, taken 500 depositions and tried over 25 cases. In his new firm, Stewart specializes in premises liability, sexual assault, child abuse and catastrophic personal injuries. As the former President of The Gates City Bar Association, Stewart knows what it takes to lead.
(Photo: Pictured here, from left, are Stewart, Seay & Felton law firm members Cheryl Henderson, Katrena Herrin, Eugene Felton, L. Chris Stewart, Richionda Scales, Rochelle Jones, Quinton Seay, and Keisha Owens.)
- Created on 23 May 2013
A veteran airport official recognized for her leadership in the community has been named the 2013 Business Woman of the Year by the
Clayton County Chamber of Commerce. Myrna White, director of Marketing and Stakeholder Engagement for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta
International Airport, was honored during the Chamber's eighth annual Women in Business Council awards luncheon.
"Myrna's work in the community is a reflection of what stakeholder engagement is meant to be, and we value that," said Aviation General Manager Louis Miller. "It is largely because of the relationships she's built that we enjoy a partnership with Clayton County, one of the Airport's most important stakeholders." The Business Woman of the Year award celebrates the past and present accomplishments of executive-level women in Clayton County.
"Myrna was selected not just for her impressive professional accomplishments," said Chamber President Yulonda Darden Beauford. "She is also a tireless advocate for economic development and quality of life in Clayton County."
White began her service at Hartsfield-Jackson more than two decades ago. She currently leads the team responsible for the Airport's government and community engagement, media/public relations, international engagement, marketing, special events, graphic design and web content.
"It wasn't enough to say that the state's largest economic generator – the world's busiest airport – rests in your county," White told the audience about her mission when she began her Airport career. "It also was important to ensure that you had a voice at that airport."
For more information on the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, visit www.claytonchamber.org
- Created on 22 May 2013
(StatePoint) If you work from home, you know how important it is to turn your home office into an efficient workspace. And these days, making improvements with that goal in mind rests on keeping up with the trends and times.
The design of your workspace can have a tremendous impact on how you feel, and ultimately, your productivity.
There are steps you can take to reduce your chance of on-the-job stress injuries like back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Experts advise setting up your desk so that all the items on it are within easy reach, your feet touch the floor, and your eyes are at the same level as the top of your monitor.
There are ergonomically designed keyboards, chairs, desks and foot rests on the market that can help too. If possible, use a headset or speakerphone to prevent that bad habit of cradling your phone between your ear and shoulder.
Half of Americans have lost or accidentally deleted files from their primary computer, according to recent studies conducted by Wakefield Research and a2b Research. And one-third admits that they have never backed up their computers, or haven’t done so in more than a year. Don’t leave your valuable documents susceptible to such a fate.
New technology is making investing in data protection easier and more affordable. For example, Carbonite offers online (commonly referred to as cloud) backup solutions that are robust enough for a medium-sized business and affordable for even very small ones. Because it backs up computer files automatically, you can set it and forget it, so you can concentrate on your bottom line. And if your work keeps you on the go, you’ll have access to your backed-up data from any computer, smartphone or internet-connected device.
“For many businesses, their data is their most valuable asset,” says Pete Lamson, Senior Vice President of Cloud Backup at Carbonite. “Cloud backup offers another layer of protection, as you’re protecting yourself from anything that could happen to your home office, like natural disaster, theft or power surges.”
More information about business data protection can be found at www.Carbonite.com.
While smartphones and tablets make it nearly impossible to totally tune out sometimes, it’s important to at least try to separate your work space from your living space to the best of your ability. Not every smaller home or apartment may allow for a complete physical separation, but the more you can psychologically disassociate the two, the better work you will do during work hours and the better living you will do the rest of the time.
If you can’t separate your office with a door, try dividing your room with a bookshelf, oriental screen or other room divider. These solutions can be both practical and affordable.
Taking the time to modernize your home office will improve the quality of your work.
- Created on 23 May 2013
Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate continues to fall. After dropping 0.4 percent in March, the jobless rate in the metro area fell to 7.6 percent in April from 7.9 percent in March. The Labor Department attributed the decrease in unemployment to employers hiring thousands of additional workers during the month.
The 0.3 percent decrease in unemployment translates to an increase of 12,900 Atlanta jobs in April from March to total 2,394,100. Most of the growth came in traditionally high-paying industries like professional and business services, which added 5,900 jobs. Other industries, including trade and transportation – 3,700, leisure and hospitality – 2,700, education and health services – 2,400, and construction – 1,400, added thousands of jobs during the month.
Since April 2012, metro Atlanta has added 48,200 jobs, driving down the jobless rate from 8.5 percent a year ago. Much of that growth was in the same industries – professional and business services — 20,500; trade and transportation — 10,200; education and health services — 8,700; leisure and hospitality — 6,100; information services — 5,100; and construction — 3,100.
The jobs gains have subsisted despite a steady decline of 5,800 government jobs during that time.
For the core metro counties, Gwinnett had the lowest jobless rate at 6.8 percent. It was followed by Cobb at 6.9 percent, DeKalb (8.2 percent), Fulton (8.3 percent) and Clayton (9.3 percent).
The unemployment rate for the city of Atlanta, though still higher than in many surrounding areas, fell to 9.6 percent in April from 9.9 percent in March. It was 10.8 percent a year ago.
In Georgia the two areas with the highest and lowest unemployment rates stayed the same as in March. Metro Athens had the state’s lowest area jobless rate at 5.6 percent. The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.3 percent.
Last week, the labor department reported that Georgia’s unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent in April from 8.4 percent the previous month. The rate was 9.1 percent in April 2012.
While metro Atlanta’s jobless rate and the rate in Georgia are still higher than the national unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, the gap that has existed for several years is becoming much less pronounced.
- Created on 22 May 2013
Half of African Americans say their financial situations have improved from a year ago, compared to 33 percent of the general population, according to a Prudential report released Tuesday. The survey polled 1,153 people who identified as African American or black and a general sampling of 471 Americans.
African Americans are also significantly more confident about making financial decisions. Nevertheless, they get 13% less contact from financial advisers, and only 26% of respondents feel that a financial firm has "effectively engaged and shown support for the African American community." As a result, only 19% have financial advisers, compared to 30% of the overall population.
Yet on average, African Americans find the financial industry to be more trustworthy than the general population does, and more than half say a financial adviser could help them -- making this underserved population an untapped opportunity for financial firms, Prudential found.
And the need for help is there.
Debt is the number one concern among the African American population, according to the survey. The median household had $18,000 in non-mortgage debt -- including student loans, credit cards and personal loans. That's 50% more than the general population. And those with college degrees were twice as likely to have student loan debt than the average college-educated American.
With higher debt, it's often harder to build savings. Median household savings is only $40,000 for African American households, compared to $97,000 nationally. When a college education is added to the equation, household savings rises to $66,000 for African American households but jumps to $207,000 for the average American household.
African American respondents were half as likely to have long-term investments like stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Yet they were significantly more likely to be financially supporting someone who is unemployed, as well as grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren.