Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Centre & ArtsBridge Foundation 2019 Annual Report

Page 1

25thAnniversary of Cobb Galleria Centre

Anniversaries mark a special time to reflect on our accomplishments and recognize the people who made them possible. From the leadership and vision of John A. Williams to the unwavering stewardship of the current members of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, this Annual Report looks back at the past 25 years since the debut of Cobb Galleria Centre and the civic and financial benefits that have been far greater than envisioned by the statesmen who wrote the Authority’s enabling legislation in 1980.

Mayor Max Bacon at the Reed House in Smyrna, along with his dog, Wyoming

Max Bacon was one of the original driving forces behind locating a convention center in Cobb County.


We are grateful to dedicate this annual report to The Honorable A. Max Bacon, Mayor of Smyrna, in appreciation for his 34 years of service on the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority. As a charter member of the Authority board since 1985, Mayor Bacon was one of the original driving forces behind locating a convention center in Cobb County. We have a deep appreciation for his tenure on the Finance Committee and for his leadership as Vice Chairman of the Authority. We will miss you, Max, and wish you all the very best in retirement.




The seven-member Authority is a body corporate and politic created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1980 for the purpose of acquiring, constructing, operating and maintaining facilities for the general purpose of promoting cultural growth, education and welfare. The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority owns and operates




the Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre,

not pictured:

ArtsBridge Foundation and Galleria Specialty Shops.



THE CHAIRMAN Twenty-five years ago, a group of community leaders saw their vision become a reality with the opening of the Cobb Galleria Centre. What they didn’t know then was that the opening of this world-class convention center would be the catalyst for a series of developments that would transform Cobb County into one of the Southeast’s most thriving economies. Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon was part of that visionary group of leaders. He is an original member of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority, serving on the Authority during his tenure as mayor, since 1985. After 34 years, Mayor Bacon has decided to retire. We are grateful for his service and will miss his commitment to making the Authority’s venues the best they could be. While we reflect on 25 years of accomplishments, we also are focused on the next 25 years. It’s exciting to think about what’s ahead for the Cobb Galleria Centre, Cobb Energy Centre and ArtsBridge Foundation. This Authority is working hard to set the stage for future investments in our assets to make sure that we remain a best-in-class destination. I am once again thankful for my fellow members of the Authority, the ArtsBridge Foundation Board of Directors, our professional staff and dedicated volunteer corps who work in concert to deliver excellence every day. Enjoy reading this Annual Report – a celebration of 25 years of success. Sincerely,

This Authority is working hard to set the stage for future investments in our assets to make sure that we remain a best-in-class destination.

JERRY NIX Chairman Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority



THE CEO It was an exceptional year for the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority. Together, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and the Cobb Galleria Centre exceeded their revenue goals and generated a combined economic impact of $173 million on Cobb County and the state of Georgia. Since the opening of Cobb Galleria Centre 25 years ago, nearly 12 million visitors have passed through its doors. This convention center is the region’s premier gathering place and a source of great civic pride. At one time or another, most residents have attended a graduation, banquet, convention, seminar or one of the major consumer events like the popular Atlanta Home Show. The Centre has been an incubator for business and an important part of the cultural fabric of Cobb County. We are especially proud of the 2019 artistic programming at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre beginning with the imaginative, stellar work of our resident companies: the Atlanta Ballet and The Atlanta Opera. This year we said goodbye to our retiring Managing Director Sandie Aaron and welcomed Vickie Hubbard. Under Vickie’s creative leadership, the Centre will prosper and continue to engage the community with its eclectic line-up of concerts, comedy, dance and corporate events that expand our reach by attracting diverse audiences from throughout the region. ArtsBridge Foundation, the arts education and community outreach arm of Cobb Energy Centre, enjoyed another robust season of programming serving students and educators grades K-12. This year’s overwhelmingly successful Overture Gala co-chaired by Barbarella and René Diaz together with Teena and Rob Garcia, honored Valery Voyles who has been instrumental in shaping the mission of ArtsBridge since its inception.

On a bitter-sweet note, retiring Authority member, A. Max Bacon played an invaluable role on our Board over the past 34 years. We could always count on him for comic relief when we needed it the most. His institutional knowledge and deep interest in the culture of our organization will be missed. The contributions of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority continue to create and maintain a vibrant and prosperous community. These are signs of great things to come in the next 25 years. Sincerely,

MICHELE L. SWANN General Manager & CEO Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority



JOHNNY ISAKSON It is with great pleasure that I send my heartfelt congratulations as the Cobb Galleria Centre celebrates its 25th

anniversary. I remember well when the venue was a mere vision and when it first opened, and this is a wonderful milestone! Since 1994, the Cobb Galleria Centre has been Atlanta’s premier venue for conventions, trade shows, corporate meetings, and many other special events. The Cobb Galleria Centre has hosted more than 22,000 events and 12 million guests since opening. As a major event hub for the Cobb and metro Atlanta communities, the Cobb Galleria Centre has had a huge economic impact on our community and our state. I send my best wishes for its continued success. May this anniversary be a joyous event for all. With warmest personal regards,

I remember well when the venue was a mere vision and when it first opened, and this is a wonderful milestone! JOHNNY ISAKSON


Johnny Isakson United States Senator



The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority engaged a third party firm to perform an Economic Impact Study for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. The study provides an independent analysis of the total financial impact of the Cobb Galleria Centre and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Cobb County and the State of Georgia.



Total Economic Impact

$ 106,319,000

Employment (number of FTE jobs) Personal Earnings

$ 21,224,000


$ 127,543,000


$ 37,577,000



$ 144,885,000

$ 28,851,000


1,330 44,677,000

STATE OF GEORGIA (Includes County) Total Economic Impact

Employment (number of FTE jobs) Personal Earnings


$ 50,007,000


$ 173,736,000

310 9,744,000


1,780 59,751,000

Total Economic Impact is the total direct, indirect and induced spending effects generated by each facility’s operations. Employment represents the number of full and part time jobs supported by each facility’s operations. Personal Earnings are the estimated wages and salaries earned by employees of businesses associated with or impacted by each facility’s operations.

TAX REVENUE IMPACT COBB COUNTY Local Option, Liquor by the Drink, Hotel/Motel Tax





Sales & Use Tax, Personal and Corporate Income Tax




Total Tax Revenue Impact















COBB GALLERIA CENTRE In 2019 the Centre hosted 417 events, including the 68th National Square Dance Convention and the Southern Automotive Conference, along with major conferences hosted by Salesloft, DevNexus and more. We are proud to report that the Centre was selected to host the prestigious Taste of the NFL – Party with a Purpose, one of only three NFL-sanctioned events held over Super Bowl LIII weekend in February. Our very own culinary team was amongst the line-up of chefs from the 32 NFL cities. Another major accomplishment this year was the nomination by the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) for three ALLIE Awards including “Best On Premise Catering.” NACE recognizes the year’s greatest catering and event achievements as determined by some of the world’s most accomplished hospitality professionals. Other recognitions in 2019 include EXHIBITOR Magazine’s Centers of Excellence list, which honors North America’s 20 best convention centers for trade shows and corporate events; and, for the 24th consecutive year, the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) of the United States and Canada.


Our most valuable asset is our human capital. Six members of our team celebrated their 25th anniversary with us this year. Eleven have over 20 years of service, and 39 have a minimum of 10 years. One of our strategic initiatives in 2019 was diversity and inclusion advancement. The primary focus of our D&I Program includes creating a culture of inclusion and belonging as well as recruiting and retaining diverse talent. We have laid the foundation and know there is more work to be done going forward.

The Centre was selected to host the prestigious Taste of the NFL – Party with a Purpose, one of only three NFLsanctioned events held over Super Bowl LIII weekend.

Since the opening of Cobb Galleria Centre 25 years ago, nearly 12 million visitors have passed through its doors.


T W E N T Y- F I V E Y E A R S




417 Total Attendance

347,000 COBB GALLERIA CENTRE Since opening in 1994, Cobb Galleria Centre’s operating revenues have exceeded operating expenses each year, resulting in an operating profit. Fiscal year ending September 30, 2019 (unaudited)


$ 13,840,000




$ 1,475,000

Capital Expenditures paid from Reserves



INTERGOVERNMENTAL REVENUES Debt service for the Cobb Galleria Centre is provided for by a portion of the Hotel/Motel and Liquor by the Drink Taxes collected by Cobb County and the municipalities within Cobb County. The Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority has entered into separate agreements with Cobb County and the municipalities in which all or a portion of the Hotel/Motel and Liquor By The Drink Tax collections are remitted directly to the Authority’s Bond Trustee for the servicing of the Authority’s bond debt. Remaining amounts are forwarded to the Authority and used to pay amounts which the Authority is contractually obligated to remit back to the County and municipalities and to provide funding for Cobb Travel & Tourism. Fiscal year ending September 30, 2019 (unaudited)

Gross Tax Revenues Remitted to the Bond Trustee: Hotel/Motel Tax

$ 19,563,000

Liquor By The Drink Tax


$ 20,589,000

Debt Service (6,449,000) $ 14,140,000 Contractual Payments Back to the County/Municipalities (7,652,000) Cobb Travel & Tourism Funding (1,594,000) Intergovernmental Revenue Surplus




COBB ENERGY PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, named the Best Major Concert Venue in Atlanta by Atlanta Magazine’s Best of Atlanta list, experienced a banner year in 2019 with a range of programming covering almost every performing arts genre and style. Crowds from 93 Georgia counties and across all 50 states and Canada came out in abundance for shows highlighted by Carol Burnett, JoJo Siwa, Jackson Browne, the Alliance Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” Jeff Foxworthy, The Piano Guys, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Day 6, Ina Garten, the Beach Boys and “The Sound of Music.” Cobb Energy Centre cemented its reputation as the ideal venue for the growing Esports industry by hosting the Atlanta Reign Homestand. The Centre’s resident companies, The Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Ballet, presented extraordinary and unique productions boosting their artistic standards and quality performances. The Atlanta Ballet made a groundbreaking announcement that the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre will be home to “The


Nutcracker” starting in December 2020. The Kessel D. Stelling Ballroom hosted some of Atlanta’s most prestigious corporate and social events including Digital Summit, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Opening Night Reception, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Synovus and Modern Luxury magazine. Our new Managing Director Vickie Hubbard brings a wealth of experience in management, promotion and operation of venues to her new role leading a venue ranked Number 39 out of the Top 200 Theater Venues Worldwide by Pollstar magazine. The Centre also received recognition in Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame for Five Consecutive Years of Consistently High Ratings from Travelers, a testament to the superior customer service provided by the professional staff and volunteer ushers. Knowing how important it is that the beautiful John A. Williams Theatre is maintained at the highest possible level,

Crowds from 93 Georgia counties and across all 50 states and Canada came out in abundance for shows.

the Authority reinvested in this asset by restoring the building automation system, replacing carpeting and upgrading the LED panels on the SYNOVUS-sponsored outdoor marquee sign along I-75.



COBB ENERGY CENTRE 2019 Total Events/ Performances

274 Total Attendance

269,000 COBB ENERGY CENTRE Fiscal year ending September 30, 2019 (unaudited)


$ 10,817,000

OPERATING EXPENSES (7,951,000) OPERATING PROFIT (before depreciation) Operating results do not include depreciation expense of $2.2 million.


$ 2,866,000

ARTSBRIDGE FOUNDATION ArtsBridge Foundation, the arts education outreach arm of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, enhanced the lives of tens of thousands of young people in 2019 with a growing roster of services and award-winning programming. With a mission of expanding arts education for all Georgia students, ArtsBridge has served more than 380,000 students and educators from 67 Georgia counties since 2007. In 2019 alone, ArtsBridge served more than 31,000 students and inaugurated six new programs, including the Snack Pack Program, a partnership with Action Ministries to feed all students who attend a lunchtime field trip; Careers in the Arts and Music Theatre Intensive, workshops for students; STEAM Integration and Professional Development, workshops for educators; and HOPE Jingle Contest, a partnership with the Georgia Lottery to disburse five scholarships to Georgia high school theater departments.

Field Trips to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Field Trips are curated, high quality arts education programs that provide experiential learning and align with Georgia Standards of Excellence. ArtsBridge provided 14 field trip programs to Cobb Energy Centre, serving 16,451 students from 132 schools representing 54 Georgia counties and 76 school districts, and 3,992 home school students representing 14 home school groups. The ArtsBridge financial aid subsidy program, Adopt-A-School, assists Title I schools and students. One of the primary sources of funding for this is the annual Overture Gala, which this year featured Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth and raised over $100,000. In 2019, ticket and transportation subsidies enabled 15,327 students to attend field trips for free or reduced cost, and provided $16,425 in round-trip transportation subsidies for 265 school buses.

Family Programs Family Programs provide families the opportunity to introduce young audiences to the performing arts. ArtsBridge partnered with six community organizations and offered tickets to three family shows.


Professional Development Professional Development provides skill and talent development opportunities from national touring Broadway shows and regional arts professionals. ArtsBridge provided 12 professional development programs that served 536 students and educators, including five Master Classes, a Director’s Bootcamp, a Performing & Visual Arts College Fair, a Music Theatre Intensive, a Careers in the Arts workshop, a STEAM Integration workshop and two Professional Development Workshops.

Georgia High School Musical Theatre Awards – Shuler Hensley Awards The Shulers celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre and are now two-time Emmy® Award-winners for the “Special Event Live Coverage” category for both the 2017 and 2018 shows. In 2019, 9,464 students from 75 high schools participated in the Shuler Awards program. These students represented 24 Georgia counties and 26 school districts. Many thanks to the large group of volunteers who assist with the planning and execution of the program, and a special shout-out to long-time executive producer Craig McMahon and awards show namesake Shuler Hensley for their invaluable contributions

ArtsBridge has served more than 380,000 students and educators from 67 Georgia counties since 2007.

to this program over the past 12 years.





Secretary and Treasurer

Clare Richardson Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund

Joanne Truffelman Chemistry Atlanta

Larry Dingle Wilson Brock & Irby, LLC

Jerry Nix

Percy Vaughn

Community Volunteer

CFO (Retired) Genuine Parts Company

(Emeritus) Director, Southern Regional Operations Kia Motors America, Inc.

Shan Cooper

Helen S. Carlos

Sam Olens

Jack Ward

Executive Director Atlanta Committee for Progress

Counsel, Public Policy Dentons

JF Ward Enterprises, LLC

Barbarella Diaz

Hon. Mary Staley Clark

Barbara E. Williams

Executive VP of Community Affairs Diaz Foods

Superior Court Judge, Cobb County Mental Health Court

Fran Friedrich

(Emeritus) Former State Farm Agent & Cobb County Commissioner

Kessel D. Stelling

Vice President, Commercial Relationship Manager Renasant Bank

(Emeritus) President & CEO Synovus Financial Corp.

ARTSBRIDGE FOUNDATION, INC. Fiscal year ending September 30, 2019 (unaudited)


Support and Revenues

$ 786,000


$ (706,000)

Change in Net Assets

$ 80,000


DONORS PRODUCER $25,000+ Bobbie Bailey Foundation Helen & Jimmy Carlos Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority Delta Community Credit Union Georgia Lottery Lettie Pate Evans Foundation The Molly Blank Fund (Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation) Scicom Infrastructure Services, Inc. Synovus Foundation Walton Communities Wells Fargo Foundation DIRECTOR $10,000 – $24,999 Terry Chandler Sylvia & Bruce Dick Ed Voyles Automotive Group Emerson Climate Technologies Genuine Parts Company Georgia Council for the Arts Georgia Power Dr. & Mrs. Ronald Goldstein The Imlay Foundation John & Mary Franklin Foundation Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company National Endowment for the Arts Cheryl & Jerry Nix Regions Bank Sartain Lanier Family Foundation Total Wine & More The Zeist Foundation, Inc. DESIGNER $5,000 - $9,999 Abney Family Foundation Bennett Thrasher Foundation, Inc. Cobb Community Foundation Lynn Cochran-Schroder Barbarella & René Diaz The Kendeda Fund The Martha & Wilton Looney Foundation, Inc. Publix Super Markets Charities Clare Richardson Smiley for Kylie Foundation Michele & David Swann Ticketmaster Tyler Perry Studios Valery Voyles Jean & Jack Ward PLAYWRIGHT $2,500 - $4,999 Atlanta Braves Foundation, Inc. Elaine & John Carlos Susana Chavez Larry Dingle Fisher & Phillips, LLP Goode Van Slyke Architecture Margaret Kleiman McKenney’s, Inc. The Morgan Fund Carol & Jim Ney Michelle Quinones RISPA Performing Arts School Taylor English Joanne Truffelman Tull Charitable Foundation

PRESENTER $1,000 - $2,499 Judith M. Alembik Andrew Blaisdell Mike Boyce Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Randy Donaldson Judith & Fred Keith Mrs. Peter G. Kessenich, Sr. Billy R. Lyde Lisa & Sam Olens Renasant Bank Kathleen E. Rios Bennie Shaw Earl Smith Subaru of Kennesaw The Vinings Rotary Charity Fund Belle & Bob Voyles LEAD ACTOR $500 - $999 Anonymous Susan & David Abee Cobb Travel & Tourism Bruce Cohen The Cumberland Mall Maryanne Elliott Forsyth Academy of Performing Arts Teena & Rob Garcia Gay Construction Company Patricia T. & Gene Hennsler Vicki D. Palefsky Alex Paulson Josh Pike Karen & John Spiegel Luci Sunshine James Wall ENSEMBLE $250 - $499 Jessica Coale & Corrie Phillips Ushers at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Mike Cronin David Delk Andrew Diaz Winkelmann Sondra Dillon Nicki Glee Susan M. Levy Sara Stephens WH Management Group, LLC AUDIENCE $1 - $249 Anonymous (2,843) Jo Ann P. Ard Susan & Robert Arko Julie Arnold Dani & Chris Benner Debbie & Irwin Berman Ann Blair Marty Bohan James A. Bohart Brenda Bookman Jo Ann Boyd Rose Briglevich Dan Britt Carole Brooks Casey Brown Jeffery Brown Diane Caldwell Anne Camery Lynn Camp Cantigny Research Foundation, Inc. Megan-Claire Chase Patricia Claus

Alan Clarke Gretchen Corbin Audine Crosse Joan M. Davey Gillon David Tom Davis Patti Dickey Dillehay Management Group Jennifer D. Dobbs Embassy Suites Centennial Park Brenda & Philip Etheridge Randall Farmer Georgianna Ferrero Anna Filardi Delbert Flack Fran & Bruce Friedrich Gail & Lyons Heyman Philanthropic Fund of the Jewish Federation Melissa Gilbert Paul Goggin Andrew Guerrasio Christine Guerrasio Joseph Gursky Jermaine Gurvin Dale Gustafson Matthew Hand Dave Herman Cyndi Hinesley Greg Holliday Deborah Hooper Ray Horihan Arlyn B. Huntzicker Mary C. Jackson Linda L. Johnson Carolyn J. Johnston Shea Jones Florrie Kelley Delores Kennedy Kennesaw State University Foundation, Inc. Walter Kiley Beverly Kinsey Mike Knowles Susan Krull Lambert High School Emma Lankford Phyllis P. Lea Robert S. Lederman Diane Levere Barbara Lewitt Deborah Lundquist Michelle Mahoney Hope Martin Sheree H. Martin Dr. Liss Maynard Greg McAlvin Christopher C. McCoy Ollie McCoy Pat McGinnis McKinsey & Company Atlanta Leslie McLeod Craig McMahon Stephanie Meeboer William Miles Deborah Minor Donna Misra David Nadler Sandi C. Nelson Kinsey O’Lee Rochelle Oms Sunnah & Tara Pasha John Patton Wendy Pero Lisuan Poh Margaret L. Pope Diggs Henry Quillian Mike Quinlan

Gregory A. Randell Rosalind Reiss Lizzy A. Rhodes Elizabeth H. Roper Barkley Russell Francis H. Russy Carla Sessions Collin M. Siedor Ann Sisk Bonnie Smith Linda Smith Alisa Smith-McMahon Pat & Bob Snider Jeannie Speed Donna Stembridge Richard Stevens Marilyn & Jim Sustrich Tama Tanowitz Lynn Walley Mary Wellington The Westminster School Pauline & Gregory Wilson Nancy Merrell Woodyard Daniel Zalacain IN-KIND Alliance Theatre The Barkley Russell Agency Bennett Thrasher Big Chow Grill Bonefish Grill Broadway Across America Broadway Dreams Foundation Buffalo Wild Wings The Cheesecake Factory Chick-Fil-A Clear Channel Outdoor Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Cobb Galleria Centre Coca-Cola The College Audition Diaz Foods Ed Voyles Automotive Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park Encore Atlanta Fox Theatre Georgia Public Broadcasting Georgia State University Gibbs Creative Grosh Grub Burger Akers Mill Hotel Indigo Kennesaw State University College of the Arts KIA Motors of America Maggiano’s Little Italy Magnum Manning Entertainment Minuteman Press Murph’s Music Matters Norcostco The Peddler Group, Inc. Performer’s Warehouse P. F. Chang’s Schlotzsky’s Simply Buckhead Staging Directions Subway Theatre Audition Advisors Tiffany & Co.

Listing reflects gifts made between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019.


The Next 25 Years Cobb Galleria Centre has helped put Cobb County on the global map. In this competitive environment, standing still is losing ground. Our plan is to build on our 25 years of success with a major renovation of our campus and redevelopment of the Galleria Specialty Shops. To all who have visited our venue over the past 25 years we say, “Thank you!�

Thank you We wish to express our appreciation to the members of the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum & Exhibit Hall Authority and to the numerous business leaders whose continued support helped us prosper and reach our goals for 2019. We also wish to thank LevelOne Design for their efforts designing this Annual Report. The Atlanta Opera photography by Jeff Roffman and Nunnally Rawson. Atlanta Ballet photography of Anderson Souza, Jessica He and Lucas Labrador by Kim Kenney.


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.