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“We don’t want customers to have to choose between seeing the world and saving the world,” is a great quote I took away from my interview with this issue’s cover star, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian. Although Bastian was talking about sustainability measures in the airline industry, his words reminded me that even when we don’t have the time, money, or physical ability to travel the world for inspiration, the world is coming to us—here in Georgia—in more ways than we know, every day, with futuristic innovations that will change how we live.
It’s not surprising that so many companies from all over the globe are growing their operations here, capitalizing on our accessible ports, strategic location as a gateway to the United States, home of the world’s busiest airport, and pro-business climate. Our “Going Global” cover theme is timely as new foreign investment announcements keep flowing in, from solar panel manufacturer Qcells’ $2.5 billion investment in Cartersville and Dalton to auto parts manufacturer Ecoplastic Corporations’ plan to bring more than 450 new jobs to Bulloch County.
In this issue, Katja Ridderbusch’s “Passport to Progress” feature (page 58) explores how the 26-country consular corps, based in Atlanta, helps pave the way for global companies to find a welcoming home in our state; Mary Logan Bikoff dives deep into trends shaping the future of office design (“The New Modern Workplace,” page 72), and Martin Padgett’s “Driving Forward” (page 80) looks at the rapidly expanding automotive industry—from vehicle and parts manufacturers to corporate headquarters—within our borders. And of course, had the privilege of sitting down with Ed Bastian of Delta for “The Conversation” (page 24) to talk about how the state’s largest private employer is innovating within the airline industry, from sustainability initiatives to creative workforce development.
Our GaBiz team continues to be inspired by the good news in our state, and we—along with our world-class team of journalists, photographers, and artists—are privileged to share these stories, and more, with you.We hope they’ll reinforce or inspire your own global adventures.
Jennifer Bradley Franklin
Editor in Chief