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Atlanta Police Chief, AIA CEO and AIA President-elect to Speak at AEC Cares Blitz Build

April 28, 2015

CMD, AIA and Hanley Wood Media Partner to Renovate Atlanta Youth Shelter Covenant House

Atlanta Chief of Police George Turner will be speaking at AEC Cares’ projectAtlanta blitz build on May 13. The event, which is organized by construction data provider CMD, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and Hanley Wood Media, will bring together construction professionals from around the country to revitalize Covenant House Georgia (CHGA), an inner-city Atlanta shelter for youths in crisis. Other speakers include AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, and AIA 2016 AIA President-elect Russ Davidson, FAIA, and CNN correspondent Holly Firfer, who will emcee the event. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office and the Children’s Restoration Network are also partnering to make the renovation a reality.

An annual event that takes place the day before the AIA National Convention, AEC Cares offers construction professionals the chance to give back by using their skills on a one-day project to improve a local charity. CHGA, a crisis shelter for homeless and trafficked youth, opened its doors in 2000. Since that time, more than 15,000 young people have received support from the non-profit organization under the guiding principle of unconditional love and 24-hour care.

“The Covenant House is doing amazing work in Atlanta, providing safety, hope and a path to a bright future for young people who need a chance,” said Graeme McCracken, CEO of CMD, and board president, AEC Cares. “Thanks to the support of our partnering organizations and volunteers, we will be able to update and modernize CHGA so it can provide better opportunities.”

Volunteers for AEC Cares projectAtlanta will tackle projects across the seven-acre campus of CHGA, revitalizing the facility to make it more welcoming, comfortable and safe. This includes extensive landscape work and renovations to the community center that will help CHGA provide support services such as job training, healthcare services and life skills development.

“We are incredibly thankful to all the organizations who are coming together to help us on this project,” said John Riddall, board chair, CHGA. “AEC Cares has a lasting impact on every venture it undertakes, and we are excited for the opportunities the new improvements will provide for Covenant House Georgia.”

CMD, AIA and Hanley Wood Media have joined forces the past five years, during AEC Cares’ annual build, to raise awareness and provide community support for worthwhile projects across the United States. In 2011, these groups collaborated to rebuild five homes devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Subsequent projects included revitalizing houses for homeless teens in Washington D.C. and renovating facilities for homeless, disabled veterans and adults in Denver. The most recent project involved transforming a 30-year-old former school building into a cheerful up-to-date daycare and early learning center for impoverished children in Chicago’s Southwest Side.

“I’ve worked the AEC Cares events for the past four years, and each year I’m impressed with the level of dedication, resolve, and generosity shown by everyone involved,” said Brandy Koch, AIA, project architect with Ghafari Associates and project manager for AEC Cares. “We have pro bono designers and general contractors, as well as product manufacturers who donate money and building materials. CMD coordinates the entire effort, and of course none of it would happen without the volunteers who show up to help give back to their community.”

To sponsor the AEC Cares project or to find additional information, visit

About CMD
CMD, the Inaugural Strategic Partner of the AIA, is a leading North American provider of construction information. CMD’s diverse portfolio of innovative products and technologies includes national, regional and local project leads, marketing solutions and market intelligence to provide insight to construction industry professionals throughout the U.S. and Canada. Visit the CMD website at

About AEC Cares
AEC Cares is a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation actively supported by CMD with the AIA and Hanley Wood, generous sponsors, donors and volunteers. Bringing together architects, contractors, manufacturers and industry professionals from across the United States and Canada, AEC Cares works to create positive change through meaningful projects that benefit a new community every year. To learn more about AEC Cares, visit

About Covenant House
Founded in 1972 with the simple, profound mission to help homeless kids escape the streets, Covenant House today is the largest privately-funded charity in the Americas. Covenant House is dedicated to serving to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked and exploited youth with absolute respect and unconditional love—helping homeless children, and protecting and safeguarding all children in need. Covenant House Georgia is a full partner of Covenant House International. Visit the Covenant House Georgia website at to learn more about it.