Georgia Public Policy Foundation Celebrates 25 Years, Honors Dr. Michael H. Mescon

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Monday, December 19th, 2016

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a state-focused, free-market public policy research organization, marked 25 years in Georgia in 2016 with an Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Freedom Award Ceremony on November 11 attended by 250 friends and supporters.

The keynote speaker for the event at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta was John Stossel of Fox Business Network, 19-time Emmy Award recipient and the host of “Stossel,” a weekly program on Fox Business News.

The prestigious Freedom Award, presented by the Foundation to a notable Georgian who has exemplified the principles of private enterprise and personal integrity, honored Dr. Michael H. Mescon, academic, businessman, author and a champion of private enterprise.

Presenting the award on behalf of the Foundation was Dr. David Martin, executive director of the Georgia Council on Economic Education and a longtime friend of Dr. Mescon. The award was accepted onstage by Dr. Mescon’s son Jed, until recently a longtime TV news anchor in Chattanooga; a congratulatory message was screened at the event from his other son, Dr. Tim Mescon, who is based in the Netherlands and heads the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“His colleagues told him that creating a Chair of Private Enterprise would be the end of his academic career,” Dr. Martin told the audience. “Boy, were they wrong.”

In 1963, the first Chair of Private Enterprise was established at Georgia State University. An eloquent champion of private enterprise, Dr. Mescon became the first to hold the Chair. Its influence spread: Today, more than 200 related chairs exist across the nation and around the world.

In 1963, Dr. Mescon also created the Center for Business and Economic Education to work with Metro Atlanta teachers. “So in one year, he became the Father of Private Enterprise Education in America and the Father of Economic Education in Georgia,” Dr. Martin said.

Dr. Mescon also became the first president of the Association of Private Enterprise Educators, created in 1978 with the help of two colleagues, Craig Aronoff and Bill Rushing. The genesis of a private enterprise education movement that spread a across the globe, influencing thousands of teachers and millions of students, Dr. Mescon earned the well-deserved moniker, “The Pied Piper of Private Enterprise,” from The Wall Street Journal.

“For 25 years the Foundation has served as a limited-government policy guide for Georgia’s elected officials,” Foundation President Kelly McCutchen said after the event. “We’re honored to celebrate this milestone. It’s gratifying that so many in the audience have supported this think tank since the beginning, and it’s encouraging that our supporters have increased over the years.”

The Freedom Award to Dr. Mescon included a contribution by the Foundation to the Michael H. Mescon Endowment Fund at Georgia State University.

(Previous Freedom Award winners include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Flowers Industries chairman emeritus William Flowers, former U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell, Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy; Deen Day Smith, chair of the Cecil B. Day Investment Company; former Georgia Governor and United States Senator Zell Miller; former Southern Company president Bill Dahlberg, Medal of Honor recipient General Raymond G. Davis, U.S. Marine Corps; United States Senator Phil Gramm; Henry F. (Hank) McCamish, founder and chairman of the McCamish Group and founder of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and Rogers Wade, former President of the Foundation.)