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Monday, October 11, 2010

FEE Announces First-Ever Expansion

Branch Office Opened in Atlanta, Georgia

IRVINGTON, NY—From its founding in 1946 until 2010, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) had one office: its headquarters facilities near the Hudson River in this Westchester County community, less than an hour north of New York City. Now, it has a second home in the heart of the South.

In early May, a branch office was opened at 260 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 2200 in downtown Atlanta, Georgia 30303. Located in Atlanta’s financial district, the office houses four staff members at present and is just three blocks from the site of five of FEE’s summer 2010 student seminars, the Georgia-Pacific Building. The organization’s headquarters will remain in its historic mansion in Irvington.

Why Atlanta? FEE president Lawrence W. Reed explains: “There are many good reasons for a branch office in Atlanta: Local support is strong. Operational costs are low. Opportunities for FEE programs in the region are great. The proximity of a major airport hub makes Atlanta very accessible. And by putting roots down in a second community, we are broadening the base of FEE’s long-term support.”

No sooner was the office opened in early May than FEE staff in both New York and Georgia were immersed in the organizations’ highly successful summer seminars. Nearly 700 students from 40 states and 42 countries descended on Irvington, Atlanta, and a third site—Estes Park, Colorado—to hear many of the country’s top free market economists.

“Now that the seminars for 2010 are over and planning is underway for next year, we can really settle in to the new office and reach out to the local community,” says Ben Stafford, director of programs. “We’re excited about working with groups in the area to get the FEE message of liberty and free enterprise into the schools and colleges.” One of many new lecture programs will be an occasional “Evening with FEE” event, fashioned after the successful “Evening at FEE” programs at the Irvington headquarters.

FEE’s executive director, Carl Oberg, hailed the branch office opening as “a testimony to our new growth path” for the organization. “Our funding base is growing, our programs are reaching record audiences of young people, our new media exposure is soaring, and now we have a new office from which we can extend our reach,” he said. “People are responding to our unique approach of combining free market economics with the necessity of personal character, and that’s a cause for celebration!”