By John Schaffner

The W Atlanta-Buckhead hotel received the 2009 Buckhead Business of the Year Award at the Buckhead Business Association’s Annual Luncheon.
W Atlanta-Buckhead was chosen for the top award from among five finalists. Also nominated were Craft restaurant, David Gallery/Painting Exchange, Pizza Fusion and The Private Bank of Buckhead.
W Atlanta-Buckhead and all of the finalists were presented awards by the BBA and AJC Media Solutions, sponsors of the awards.
The Business of the Year Award winner was introduced to the audience of several hundred business and civic leaders through a video presentation, which highlighted the boutique Buckhead hotel’s slogan “where modern luxury meets Southern charm.”
Hotel general manager Marylouise Fitzgibbon accepted the award for the hotel during the Jan. 21 meeting at the Atlanta History Center.
The BBA also presented Denise Starling, executive director of BATMA (Buckhead Area Transportation Management Association) with the annual “Bullish on Buckhead Award.” Since 1997, BATMA’s mission has been to provide relief to commuters, residents and visitors traveling to and within Buckhead. BATMA operates the “buc” free shuttle service within the core Buckhead business district five days a week.
Another new Buckhead hotel, the St. Regis Atlanta, which opened in April 2009 on West Paces Ferry Road, was presented the annual “Buckhead Beautification Award.”  The 26-story luxury hotel was designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates.
The annual luncheon also was the occasion for the passing of BBA leadership from 2009 president Elizabeth Gill, president of Express Employment Professionals, to 2010 president Heather Wright, principal of her own business law firm The Wright Firm. Wright is the 59th BBA president.
Keynote speaker for the awards luncheon was New York Times best-selling author of business books Harvey Mackay, who entertained the capacity crowd with anecdotes and principals of sound, and not-so-sound, successful business practices. In his talk, as in his books, Mackay emphasizes the principals of long-term relationships with both customers and suppliers in order to be successful in business.
Mackay, who wrote the best seller “Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive,” introduced his newest book, “Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door,” which will become available in book stores in February.