Givers 2

Meet Men Who Work Hard, Give Generously

Some give to keep the memory of a friend or pet alive. Some give because they have received so much. Some give because they want to help find solutions. Regardless of their motivation, the men and women in our community who volunteer regularly are our inspiration to be more, do more and give more.

In this June men’s issue, meet our 2015 Men of the Year who make giving a priority. We hope their dedication will be the spark that lights your fire to find your passion for giving.

Jeff Coghill

Giving: Little Free Libraries (seven in Dunwoody, one in Washington, D.C.); Master Gardener programs, Dunwoody Nature Center, Atlanta Audubon Society, precinct manager in Dunwoody for the Dekalb Elections Office

Day job: Retired, Federal Government, security and counter-terrorism

Motivation:  He believes strongly that people should give of their time and any skills they have to help build a great community where they live.  He is retired with plenty of time to give to service work in his community.  He also enjoys getting to know neighbors and others as a result of his volunteer activities.

Support team: Jeff and his wife, Carey, have lived in Dunwoody 29 years. Jeff grew up in Pittsburgh but came south to go to college in east Tennessee and wound up in Atlanta.  He feels Atlanta is a nice place to live with good people and excellent urban facilities and services.

David Abes

Giving: Atlanta Community Food Bank (chairing The Legends of Atlanta Roast), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (chairs the One Party, an annual fundraiser for the Georgia chapter)

Day job: 23-year veteran of Atlanta’s culinary industry as director, LDV Hospitality (Corso Coffee open in Buckhead Atlanta now; Dolce Italian and American Cut opening there this fall) and previously in leadership with Here to Serve, Horseradish Grill and Atlanta Fish Market

Motivation: David’s son, Mitchell (15), was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 2 years old.

Support team: David grew up in Dunwoody, then moved to Sandy Springs, where he, his wife and two children live now.  He is a graduate of Arizona State University.

Steve Eaton

Giving: Southeast Board for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Project Open Hand. Steve also supports numerous healthcare related Atlanta not for profit organizations each year.

Day job: Co-founder and managing director EDG Partners. Steve has served as board chair of St. Joseph’s Health System, Emory Saint Joseph, Inc, Mercy Care Services, and is currently a member of the board of Emory Healthcare and Greater Atlanta Christian School.  Prior to EDG, Eaton was a successful investor, CEO and entrepreneur in various healthcare companies.

Motivation: Enjoys supporting organizations that make a difference in the health and well being of underserved individuals and communities.

Support team: Steve is married to Margaret Eaton and they have four children and ten grandchildren. They live in Sandy Springs.

Robby Kukler

Giving: Atlanta Community Food Bank, Childrens’ Healthcare of Atlanta, No Kid Hungry, Southern Foodways Alliance, Piedmont Park Conservancy, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Day job: Partner, Fifth Group Restaurants (South City Kitchen, La Tavola, Ecco, El Taco, Alma, Lure)

Motivation: Robby has had a passion for food his entire life. He feels it is inexcusable that anyone in this country goes hungry, let alone anyone in our own communities and believes it’s our passion and responsibility to do what we can to help end hunger.

Support team:

Robby has been married to his high school sweetheart for 18 years, and lives in Dunwoody with two sons, Sam (15) and Will (11).  One son was very recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes so the family will all be continuing their work for JDRF.

Van and Michael Council

Giving: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (for conservation of the primary drinking water source for more than 4 million Georgians), the Pink Heals Foundation (to help young cancer survivors regain confidence through programing after the completion of treatment), The Drake House (providing short-term crisis housing, support, education and empowerment to homeless mothers and their children). Van is a sponsor with Southern Off-road Bicycle Association, the Georgia High School Mountail Bike League and Cycle Youth. Michael supports a variety of other community organizations including St. Judes and Susan G Komen.

Day job: Van plays a vital role in leading and building the Salons. He also speaks all over the world about Salon Development and Success. He visits each of the seven locations throughout Atlanta frequently and also conducts meetings in the Sandy Springs corporate office when needed. In addition to general management of the salons, Michael spends two days a week on the salon floor at the Sandy Springs location.

Motivation: Van and Michael have long recognized the importance of philanthropy and community engagement. The missions of their annual partnerships align with the goals of the salon, which include Earth conservation and empowering women. Van is an avid mountain biker and believes in what exercise and discipline can do for a person and more specifically, young people.

Support teams: Van and Michael are from Cartersville, Georgia, and moved to Atlanta in their early 20’s. Michael lives in Kennesaw with his wife of 25 years, Joann, and their 17-year old son who attends Mt Paran Christian School along with Van’s children, Dakota and Lucas. Van and his kids reside in Woodstock.