John Hall – Why Georgia?
30 June, 2011
John Hall – Why Georgia?

John Hall is an Atlanta-based American Businessman who certainly loves his Georgia, but is also in love with this Georgia.

He says he likes those famous southern ways in these geographical namesakes. John was in Tbilisi a couple of days ago; we met and had a brief nice talk, mostly focusing on a clearly quintessential question: Why Georgia?

 


As I understood, his reasons for choosing Georgia are solid and plenty. Too little time has passed since Georgia used to be part

of the Soviet Empire, and I would not be surprised if a businessman of any national origin wants to think twice before he ventures his time and capital for investing anywhere on the territory of the former USSR, Georgia not being an exclusion from the rule. But as I noticed, John Hall is very much ready and poised to do business here in Georgia without even a tinge of doubt or hesitation. John met my unabashed question if he saw Georgia as a prosperous country any time soon with a straight answer that he did, adding that Georgia has a real opportunity to prosper if we don’t squander it. This is a comment of a very sincere and dedicated friend. This phrase made me think that I did well to have asked John to find time for this interview. He then added thoughtfully that Georgia could even be an economic engine of the entire region of the South Caucasus. Having heard this, I was encouraged to shower my American respondent with other questions, which were answered just as openly and frankly as the first one:

 

Nug: Are you a loner in the friendship with Georgia, or there are other Americans who would like and are ready to join you?

John: I am certainly not alone. There are many others who would like to be involved. After all, the Atlanta community of Georgians is the second biggest one in the States after New York, and this means a lot for intensive communications.

Nug: Let me ask you one indiscreet question – do you expect to make money here in this Georgia?

John: Of course I do! Why do you think I am here? I am going to be a very successful businessman, and I am intending to make my business profitable here.

Nug: Why do you like it here? What’s so good about this place?

John: Traditions, southern warmth, human habits, hospitality and certainly a business-friendly environment . . .

Nug: Can you easily identify with the Georgian people and their character?

John: I sure can! The other day I was treated the Georgian ‘Chadi’ which is exactly the other Georgian cornbread (laughing). Isn’t this something? Things like this make you feel at home. On a more serious count, we went through the same economic struggle which Georgia is going through right now. Our struggle had a happy end. I am sure this Georgia will repeat the result.

Nug: I terribly hate to go political, but I can’t either help asking this politicized question. Please, don’t answer if you don’t want to. Do Russian-Georgian strained relations bother you in any conceivable way?

John: No! I don’t believe in any immediate danger for Georgia. I am confident though that stronger economic development of Georgia means direct lessening of any danger for this country.

Nug: Do you think our concentration on economy is sufficient and optimal?

John: Yes, but the Georgian people have to be more patient. A rapid development is clearly present in Georgia, but the cherished success may not happen overnight.

Nug: When are you coming back?

John: Soon! The business I am developing here might need my presence in Tbilisi several times a year which is just about enough to catch up with all I need to do as founder and owner.

Nug: Why so often?

John: Because I am working here after all (laughing).

Nug: Is there anything that makes you uncomfortable in Georgia?

John: Certain amount of poverty which needs to be eradicated and the infrastructure which needs to be developed faster. I know that those two issues will take time to be taken care of, but I want to see all that happen sooner than later.

John Hall’s law firm called HBSS (partners’ initials) has an impressive office in Tbilisi, represented by Mathew Allen whom I had the honor to meet too. The Georgian law firm of Eristavi is the partner. The office has been operative since last February. The idea occurred to John as early as in 2007, following the US congressional program ‘Open Worlds’. That’s the time when he had hosted a group of Georgian lawyers in Atlanta within the framework of that program. The meeting was fruitful because John felt then that the business climate in Georgia was good enough to risk. President Bush’s activity in Georgia was also a stimulator. English is a popular business language in Georgia, and the country is oriented on market economy.

Political stability and security are also guaranteed. What else!

When John kindly advised me that he was the chairman of the Tbilisi-Atlanta Sister City Committee, I went totally nostalgic. I was standing at the dawn of those relationships exactly quarter of a century ago. But I felt closer to John’s personality when I found out that he was also active in Friendship Force International without which my American epopee would never have been possible. John Hall’s native Atlanta, as a matter of fact, is my second native town where I have lived and worked for years on television. By the way, during the celebrations dedicated to the 20-year anniversary of sister-city relationships John presented a special mayor-to-mayor plaque, symbolizing the history. The same year, John hosted the business forum in Atlanta together with the state’s Department of Commerce which was dedicated to the theme of doing business in Georgia. Notably, 100 American businessmen had signed up for the event. John is just as active in Georgia-to-Georgia Foundation, which has raised money and will in the future too for the IDP children in Tbilisi. In 2010, Georgia’s First Lady Sandra   Roelofs received the Foundation’s humanitarian award ‘Phoenix’ in Atlanta. By the way, the famous basketball player Zaza Pachulia is on the board of the Foundation together with Georgia’s great friend Keneth Walker of the Emory University. John was actively involved in the trip of five USA congressmen who came to Tbilisi in 2010 and had dinner with President of Georgia. The meeting was meant to better acquaint American politicians with Georgia. During this particular stay in Tbilisi John and his team met with the officials from the Georgia’s ministry of economic development to organize a forum for American investors in Georgia this coming October. And finally, Mr. John Hall is an Honorary Consul of Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia.

I have rarely seen a respondent as smart, loyal, open and benevolent – all those great features just in one man – as John Hall. I definitely was lucky, but I think our Georgia is lucky too to have a friend and partner like him.

(Our mutual friend Dr. Plato Esartia was extremely helpful in organizing this wonderful meeting and useful interview, for which the Georgian Journal is very grateful).

 

 

Print
Other Stories
Three biggest animals in Tbilisi Zoo – Grand, Bacho and Begi
This week was very important for the Tbilisi Zoo staff – Grand elephant was operated and its tusk was removed by the South African doctors.
Georgian designers who participate in TBFW 2018
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week 2018 kicks off tomorrow, on the 1st of November and will last for 5 days, until the 5th of November.
Tusk of elephant Grand successfully removed in Tbilisi Zoo
Surgery of the elephant Grand in Tbilisi zoo was successful and is over now. Elephant can walk now but specialists still observe its condition.
International fashion exponents meet Georgian designers MBFW Tbilisi
If you’re interested in fashion then you should definitely add a new event to your agenda. Namely Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tbilisi that takes place from 1 to 5th of November.
Maryam d'Abo - James Bond Girl with Georgian roots
Giorgi Kvinitadze was a commander-in-chief of the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
Elephant to undergo surgery in Tbilisi Zoo
The elephant Grand is about to undergo the hardest surgery today on the 31st of October.
Best places to celebrate Halloween in Tbilisi
Halloween is celebrated on the 31st of October. It evolved from the Celtic holiday of Samhain which took place at the beginning of winter.
Bera Ivanishvili and Nanuka Gudavadze to get marry on the 11th of November
Son of the richest person in Georgia Bera Ivanishvili and the Georgian model Nanuka Gudavadze plan to get married on the 11th of November.
8-year-old girl killed in Gori - suspected murderer detained
The man suspected of killing the 8-year-old girl (with the initials I.N.) was detained today, on the 26 of October.
Audrey Hepburn with Georgian Emmy Award winner
Some photos keep whole stories. Especially one that are taken with famous people.
New clip by Bera Ivanishvili - Time machine
The richest man in Georgia Bidzina Ivanishvili is very much involved in politics, but we cannot say the same about his children, especially about Bera.
Olivia Wilde and Lea Michele in David Koma dresses
Recently, InStyle has organized the fourth annual InStyle Awards.
Gregory Pekk and Marcello Mastroianni and their friendship with Georgians
Leila Abashidze was a famous Georgian actress. She was sometimes referred to as "Mary Pickford of the USSR".
Georgian singer Sofia Nizharadze’s sexy outlooks
Sofia Nizharadze is a Georgian singer. She represented Georgia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song "Shine reaching the 9th place.
Beautiful Georgian Model Tamta Shedania tells her story
The model of Elite Model Look Georgia (an international modeling contest) Tamta Shedania worked with various Asian and European modeling agencies.
Ghanaian Eudosia Andoh – Everyday life in Tbilisi in photos
Eudosia Andoh has been living in Tbilisi for three and half years and has been travelling in different parts of Georgia.
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 ended
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 came to an end. The event has been widely reported in the international press such as Vogue, Marie Claire, ELLE, Harper's Bazaar, etc.
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues – What’s new?
Tbilisi Fashion Week continues. Foreign tourists, designers, models and special guests attend the event.
The first day of the Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019
Tbilisi Fashion Week SS 2019 has officially commenced.
Sophia Loren, Ornella Muti and their friendship with the Georgians
Georgia has numerous artists popular to the international public.
Tbilisi Fashion Week kicks off
Tbilisi Fashion Week is going to commence on the 18th of October. The slogan of the fashion week is “We Must Take Care of Nature”.
Georgian model Ana Akhvlediani becomes a mother
Georgian model Ana Akhvlediani became a mother. Ana Akhvlediani married to Giorgi Beraia in July, 2018. The couple has a daughter.
What do wives of the rich Georgians wear?
Famous Georgian faces pay great attention to look gorgeous when they appear in public or upload photos on social network.
Saddam Hussein’s Georgian Personal Advisor
A-83-year-old pilot Darwin Rukhadze from Georgia used to serve as a personal advisor of Saddam Hussein, the president of Iraq.
What makes Japan so similar to Georgia?
Japanese people know Georgia and the Georgians well enough thanks to the Georgian Sumo wrestler Levan Gorgadze, also known as Tochinoshin.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
13.11.2018
14.11.2018
USD
1
USD
2.7166
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
4.0131
Other Stories
World famous British singer Jessie J has decided to wear clothes made by Anouki Areshidze, Georgian designer and wife of the mayor of Tbilisi.
Bassiani, one of the most popular underground clubs not only in Georgia but throughout Europe as well, has opened today
An amazing video made in Georgia by tourists from the Philippines have gone viral on the internet.
Over the recent two days May 12-13 Tbilisi city saw a peaceful protest rally in the center of the city.
Hundreds of people took to the main street Rustaveli Avenue in Tbilisi to protest the raid in Tbilisi’s popular night clubs.
Two bear cubs listed as endangered on the red list were handed over to Tbilisi Zoo,
Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze and Deputy Tbilisi Mayor Ms. Sophio Khuntsaria have gifted a food stand
Pamela Anderson, famous Canadian American actress and model has appeared in the chic sunglasses by internationally acclaimed Georgian designer George Keburia.
A ski lift accident in Georgia’s eastern Gudauri resort,in particular at Sadzele 5 lift, has left 8 people with injuries.
The ski lift in Gudauri winter resort in Georgia has broke down in the aftermath of which several people have been injured.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.7166
EUR
1
EUR
3.0602
GBP
1
GBP
3.4900
RUB
100
RUB
4.0131
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30