When Bolling volunteered for Vietnam in the sixties, it was early evidence of a life spent in willing service of others. Settling in Midtown after college, he joined the staff of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, taking over its soup kitchen. His success at collecting donated groceries for the church pantry gave Bolling a vision for launching the Atlanta Community Food Bank, one of the first agencies of its kind in the Southeast. Since starting out with an old pickup truck in 1979, Bolling has built the organization into a pillar of the region’s social-service community, using 15,000 volunteers a year to help collect and distribute 20 million pounds of food to more than 700 nonprofits in Atlanta and thirty-eight counties across North Georgia. Along the way, Bolling has ceaselessly looked for other ways to help the less fortunate, cofounding the Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless and starting the Atlanta Prosperity Campaign, which provides financial counseling to working families. Combining the dedication of a small-town parson with a CEO’s business acumen—he’s studied nonprofit management at Harvard—Bolling has been uniquely effective at bridging the gap between Atlanta’s corporate and faith communities. “What I discovered about myself is that I probably could’ve been a very successful entrepreneur,” he says. “But I wanted to serve others.”
When Quatrano and husband/business partner Clifford Harrison moved Bacchanalia—their nationally renowned fine-dining restaurant—from a Buckhead cottage to uncharted Westside in 1999, foodies fretted over whether it would survive. Not only did it flourish, but it also sparked redevelopment that eventually made Westside the city’s hottest dining neighborhood. With three other restaurants (Floataway Cafe, Quinones at Bacchanalia, and the latest, Abattoir) and gourmet market Star Provisions to run, Quatrano tries to spend time at each every day.
Atlanta Must Reads for the Week: Atlanta’s auto addiction, a septuagenarian blues guitarist, and Kendrick Johnson’s divisive death
The best stories each week about Atlanta, from Atlanta-based writers, and beyond.