Eric Tanenblatt, a 40-year Atlanta resident, has taken over the chairmanship of the Buckhead Coalition, succeeding auto magnate Juanita Baranco. Tanenblatt has been a member of the coalition for 15 years, and, more recently, served on the executive committee.
An Emory University graduate, Tanenblatt recalled, “I remember arriving in Atlanta on a beautiful fall day, and wanted to make it my home as a ’big small town.’”
Stepping into the coalition’s top spot, Tanenblatt is motivated by the organization’s new focus on a more member-driven style,” in contrast to Sam Massell’s practice of running things.” The coalition had a reputation of influence, elitism (pricey dues) and, to some degree, secrecy, though now the member list is available online. Note that Jim Durrett replaced Massell, who died almost one year ago, and reconfigured the coalition to include the Buckhead Community Improvement District.
Professionally, Tanenblatt works as the global chair of public policy and regulation for Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, and also leads the firm’s U.S. public policy practice though he, himself, is not an attorney. Self-described as a lifelong Republican, on the moderate side, Tanenblatt has worked with and for some of the most well-known political names, presidential administrations and campaigns, and was chief of staff for Gov. Sonny Perdue.
Tanenblatt is not shy about addressing hot-button issues like crime and splitting from the City of Atlanta that have plagued Buckhead’s reputation. He said, “Crime now in Buckhead is down by 13 percent. Overall, during COVID this [crime wave] was true of the state and countrywide. We were not unique, but we were not accustomed to it. We have a great relationship now with the APD giving us strong levels of attention like a new facility at Buckhead Plaza.”
In terms of the failed attempt to extract Buckhead out of the city, he weighed in, saying, “The coalition was very much against this as it’s a key part of Atlanta and vice versa. De-annexation is a very big issue and has never been done in Georgia. It’s very complicated, finances, schools, etc. This became an emotional issue and lost significantly [by vote]. Note that Buckhead is not the same formula as say, Sandy Springs, forming its own city. And the crime issue is related to repeat offenders which isn’t solved by cityhood…offenders are still tried in the Fulton Court systems if the offense is committed here. Now, with the new mayor, this is less of an issue.”
Heading Dentons’ global autonomous vehicle team, Tanenblatt predicts within the next decade tremendous progress will be seen in taxis, trucks, and more.
“Georgia is now the electric mobility capital of the world, citing new facilities by Hyundai (Savannah) and Rivian (East Atlanta). This all leads the way for battery plants, suppliers, more companies. EVs lead the way for the AV industry to accelerate.”
Growing up in East Long Island, N.Y., with parents who instilled him to give back to the community, Tanenblatt is active in Points of Light, which promotes volunteerism, through his affiliation with former President George W. Bush; Fund for American Studies, teaching free enterprise to students; the Georgia and Metro Chambers of Commerce; and Winning For Women, which recruits women (right of center) to run for public office. Previously, Tanenblatt was on the board of the American Jewish Committee.
Married to Mary, a psychiatrist, they have two sons who were Pace Academy grads, now living in Boston and Washington, D.C. Tanenblatt counts biking, travel, and politics as hobbies. Living in The Charles on Peachtree, they easily stroll to the best Buckhead spots, dining at Le Colonial and Le Bilboquet, and business breakfasts at the White House on Peachtree. Tanenblatt added, “But our real favorite is Goldberg’s. The kids grew up eating there.”
Tanenblatt concluded, “The bottom line is we are fostering collaborations and improving the quality of life in Buckhead for residents, visitors and businesses.”
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Eric Tanenblatt
- Buckhead Coalition
- Juanita Baranco
- Emory University
- Sam Massell
- Jim Durrett
- Buckhead Community Improvement District
- Points of Light
- President George W. Bush
- Fund for American Studies
- Winning For Women
- American Jewish Committee
- pace academy