Behind the Scenes

SunTrust Park, The Braves and The Battery Atlanta

Cobb County is home to SunTrust Park, one of baseball’s most sophisticated ballparks, as well as the newest work, live and play sanctum known as The Battery Atlanta. Both developments came to fruition under the leadership of key executives from Braves Development Company and SunTrust Banks Inc.

Recently, Vinings Lifestyle had the opportunity to speak with William “Bill” Rogers, Terry McGuirk and Jeremy Strife, all of whom helped guide experts and innovators throughout the process of making SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta a reality.

William “Bill” Rogers Jr.

William Rogers became the chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks Inc. in 2011, but his dedication to the company goes back more than 30 years. Starting right out of college, Rogers worked in various divisions of SunTrust Bank while also pursuing his graduate degree and ascending to the status of CEO of the company. He is often described as a purpose-driven man; a life-long learner gleaning valuable lessons from his experiences and putting them into practice.

With purpose comes passion, and, for Rogers, that passion can be summed up by the company motto: Lighting the Way to Financial Well-being. 
“Each morning when I put on my SunTrust pin,” Rogers says, “I’m thinking about how we can put our purpose into action for clients and for our local community.” 
SunTrust launched the onUP Experience at The Battery Atlanta which is an interactive entertainment center designed to combine the fun of baseball with the concepts of financial planning. The goal is to take the stress and intimidation out of planning and have a good time with it. 
Beyond the role of CEO, Rogers serves on the board for many organizations, like The Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, Achieve Atlanta and Operation HOPE. Volunteering isn’t just present in Rogers’ personal life, but it is part of the radiant culture at SunTrust as well. 
“We offer a Volunteer Day off for every SunTrust teammate,” he says. “Last year, SunTrust logged 237,000 hours of volunteer time in support of 3,200 nonprofit organizations.” 
Under the leadership of William Rogers, the pristine SunTrust logo crowning the ballpark entrance stands for more than banking and brand visibility: it stands for community-building, stability and a brighter future for all.

 

Terry McGuirk

Terry McGuirk has been chairman and CEO of the Atlanta Braves since 2001. He is one of the many visionaries behind SunTrust Park, the state-of-the-art superstructure that combines some of the best features from ballparks across the country with world-class amenities.

“The ballpark is all baseball,” says McGuirk when speaking about the construction of the stadium. “Everything about it is designed for a baseball team, a baseball game…there was no other agenda.”

The park features Monument Garden, which highlights the history of the team and memorializes its most accomplished athletes, while other amenities include borrowing a Mizuno glove for the game. McGuirk was adamant in emphasizing that the fan experience was just as important as meeting the needs of the team.

On April 14, the Braves kicked off their opening night at SunTrust Park with a four-game winning streak against the San Diego Padres. 
“There’s no doubt that getting home, getting to this beautiful place, having the fan support was just a chance for [the Braves] to get relaxed, to get into a good frame of mind and let the talent take over,” McGuirk says.

Jeremy Strife

Originally from Carthage, New York, Jeremy Strife was hired in 2015 as the vice president of Braves Development Company and general manager of The Battery Atlanta. He has lived all over the United States but says of Vinings, “the people are great, the hospitality is great, the food and the entertainment scene is well-developed.”

The Battery Atlanta, which he manages with great pride, is a mixed-use development that houses award-winning restaurants; large companies like Comcast, Spaces Atlanta and Dickey Broadcasting; and a cozy residential sector made up of 550 apartment homes in three phases: Parkside, Residences and Flats.

When speaking to Vinings Lifestyle, Strife said his passion is for “taking something that wasn’t serving the community to its highest potential and then creating something that’s going to be there [for] 50 or 100 years from now.”

Not only is The Battery Atlanta shaping up to be a gem but it also fulfills another one of Strife’s aspirations which is to create, “a great central location” for visitors from all walks of life to build long-lasting memories.