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Bank of America adds 35 small biz bankers in Atlanta

Bank of America adds 35 small biz bankers in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Bank of America Corp. reported Wednesday it hit its target of hiring more that 1,000 small business bankers in 2012, including 35 in Metro Atlanta.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it extended $280.2 million in credit to Georgia small businesses and $8.7 billion nationally last year. The $8.7 billion was an increase of 28 percent over 2011.

It recently reported net income of $2.8 billion for 2012. It also saw its head count shrink by about 5,000 employees to 267,190 in the fourth quarter, evidence that BofA is still trimming staff levels as it works to lower its expenses. Branches also continued to close, with BofA reporting 5,478 banking centers across its U.S. franchise at the end of the year, down from 5,702 centers a year earlier. 

Bank of America is the third-largest bank in metro Atlanta with 145 local branches and $20.4 billion in area deposits for a market share of 17 percent. 

Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton sue HSBC over predatory lending

Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton sue HSBC over predatory lending

ATLANTA -- Three Atlanta-area counties have filed a lawsuit claiming that British bank HSBC engaged in predatory lending that ended up costing them hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cobb, DeKalb and Fulton counties say the bank aggressively signed minorities to housing loans that were likely to fail. The counties say it caused tremendous damage, including extra expenses and lost tax revenue.

The lawsuit says the banks violated the Fair Housing Act, which provides protections against housing or renting policies or practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, family status or handicap.

A lawyer for HSBC said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit, which was filed in October. A federal judge has given the bank until Jan. 25 to file a response.

Rhubarb Jones to speak at 52nd Annual Celebration

Rhubarb Jones to speak at 52nd Annual Celebration

DALLAS, Ga. -- The Paulding County Chamber of Commerce will host its 52nd Annual Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 17, ringing in what is sure to be another great year for business in Paulding County.

The evening will begin with a VIP reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Kennesaw State University professor and former radio personality Rhubarb Jones will deliver the keynote address at the event.

Individual tickets for the 52nd Annual Celebration are $125 each. Learn more at pauldingchamber.org.

Leff’s Atlanta Media launches 'News from the PR Dept.'

Leff’s Atlanta Media launches 'News from the PR Dept.'

Seven Years and Thousands of Updates Later, Leff’s Atlanta Media (www.LeffsAtlantaMedia.com) Continues to Track and Report on Atlanta’s Diverse Media Community

It’s been seven years since Atlanta public relations executive Mitch Leff launched Atlanta’s most comprehensive database of local media, Leff’s Atlanta Media (www.leffsatlantamedia.com), and the site continues to grow.  This month, the site will add a new section, “News from the PR Dept.,” tracking news items of interest to media and public relations professionals.

The new feature will appear on the Leff’s Atlanta Media blog and in the site’s monthly “Mitch’s Media Musings” newsletter and will include:

LittlePINKBook.com holds 8th Annual Fall Empowerment event

LittlePINKBook.com holds 8th Annual Fall Empowerment event

LittlePINKBook.com, the digital platform for career women, hosted its 8th Annual Fall Empowerment Event on November 13. More than 300 professional women attended the luncheon event, at the Atlanta History Center, along with more than 550 unique viewers joining via live stream. Some viewers planned gatherings of 50 or more women and leveraged the event to enhance their own business and networking meetings in cities across the globe.

The executives on the panel candidly answered questions related to their career paths to the C-Suite. Glenda Umaña, anchor at CNN en Español, was the event’s moderator. Read LittlePINKBook.com’s “Top 10 Takeaways” for favorite thoughts shared by the three panelists:

·        Teri List-Stoll, SVP and Treasurer, Procter & Gamble

Starbucks buying Atlanta-based Teavana for $620M

Starbucks buying Atlanta-based Teavana for $620M

NEW YORK -- Starbucks wants to make the tea shop as ubiquitous as its namesake cafes.

The Seattle-based company said Wednesday that it will pay $620 million in cash to buy Atlanta-based Teavana Holdings Inc., which sells high-end loose leaf teas in 300 shopping mall locations. The plan is to grow Teavana's footprint beyond the suburban mall with stand-alone shops around the world, while adding tea bars where customers can buy hot and cold drinks.

The deal marks Starbucks latest push to expand beyond its cafes, with the company facing intensifying competition from fast-food chains offering specialty coffees. Last summer Starbucks bought small bakery chain La Boulange for $100 million. Last year it added fresh-juice maker Evolution to its stable for $30 million.

Local Designer Selected for ADAC Exhibit

Local Designer Selected for ADAC Exhibit

Kennesaw resident Linda Castle, ASID, owner of Decorated Designs, has been selected for a new exhibit at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. "ADAC: Behind the Windows" is a six-month installation that pairs ADAC showrooms with local interior designers to create displays showcasing their talent.

The exhibit is one of many special events surrounding the opening of ADAC to the public on Oct. 1. The Atlanta Decorative Arts Center is located in Buckhead's Peachtree Hills neighborhood. It is open Monday through Friday.