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John Yates Receives Top Corporate Citizenship Award


Atlanta (February 20, 2023) – The Atlanta Business Chronicle has bestowed the Ann Cramer Lifetime Achievement Award on John Yates, who chairs the Technology Group at Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. The recognition is the top honor in the Chronicle’s Leaders in Corporate Citizenship Awards, which honor individuals committed to corporate social responsibility.

Yates is the subject of an in-depth profile in a special section of the Feb. 17 edition of the Chronicle. Click here to read the story, which includes a video about his contributions to local nonprofits. (A subscription is required.) Both feature leaders such as Woodruff Arts Center President and CEO Hala Moddelmog – who earned the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award and nominated Yates for the honor – as well as YMCA of Metro Atlanta President and CEO Lauren Koontz and Technology Association of Georgia President and CEO Larry Williams.

Other civic leaders who contributed to his nomination include Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce Chief Economic Development Officer David Hartnett, CURE Childhood Cancer CEO Kristin Connor, WABE President and CEO Jennifer Dorian, Duke Law School’s Associate Dean for Alumni & Development Katharine Buchanan and Furman’s Associate Vice President for Development Shon Herrick.

Yates, a pioneer in Technology law, received the award in a ceremony on Thursday, February 16, 2023, at Bishop Station in West Midtown.

“A well-known philanthropist, Yates has raised millions of dollars for countless nonprofit organizations,” Chronicle Publisher David Rubinger said in his introduction to Yates. “He is a highly-engaged corporate citizen and an incredible connector,” he added.

Yates started his acceptance speech by acknowledging former IBM executive Ann Cramer, who provides strategic counsel for nonprofits at Coxe Curry & Associates. “A special shout-out to my dear friend Ann Cramer, the namesake of this award and someone who for 45 years has been an inspiration to all of us – and has the most effervescent smile of anyone I know,” Yates said.

He also shared advice for people who want to become more involved. “When it comes to having an impact as a corporate citizen, the question is often, ‘How can someone like one of us – just one person – actually have an impact on the community,’” Yates said. “The first step is to find a worthy cause and to be passionate about it,” he said. That commitment, he added, is key to fundraising. “If you’re passionate about it, then when asking others to join you in providing time and financial resources, you’re giving them a chance to join you in the ranks of Atlanta’s servant leaders.”

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