Chattanooga Community Kitchen names new CEO and more business news

Shaun H. Ruff


Baron King names to head Chattanooga Community Kitchen

The Chattanooga Community Kitchen has chosen Baron King to be the new CEO of the nonprofit group.

King previously served as executive director for Liberty Ministries, Inc, a large nonprofit prison ministry in Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Prior to Liberty, he served as the director of health and counseling services, as well as clinical supervisor and adjunct professor in the graduate counseling program at Cairn University.

Kent Davis, chair of the Community Kitchen’s board of directors, said King will start in his new role on May 16.

“We believe that his experience has uniquely prepared him to lead the Community Kitchen,” Davis said in announcement of the appointment Wednesday. “We look forward to working with Baron to positively affect homelessness both now and in the future.”

Bill Wilkerson, board member and chair of the CEO search committee adds, said King’s “combination of experience and compassion is the perfect fit for our mission.”

The Chattanooga Community Kitchen has been serving the needs of those in our community experiencing homelessness since 1982.


Atlanta Apple store to hold union vote

Employees at an Apple store in Atlanta filed a petition Wednesday to hold a union election. If successful, the workers could form the first union at an Apple retail store in the United States.

The move continues a recent trend of service-sector unionization in which unions have won elections at Starbucks, Amazon and REI locations.

The workers are hoping to join the Communications Workers of America, which represents workers at companies like AT&T Mobility and Verizon, and has made a concerted push into the tech sector in recent years.

The union said that about 100 workers at the store — at Cumberland Mall, in northwest Atlanta — are eligible to vote, including salespeople and repair technicians, and that more than 70% of them have signed authorization cards indicating their support.

In a statement, the union said Apple, like other tech employers, had effectively created a tiered workforce that denied retail workers the pay, benefits and respect that workers earned at its corporate offices.

Workers said they loved working at Apple but sometimes felt they were treated like second-class employees. “We want equal to what corporate actually gets,” said Sydney Rhodes, an employee at the store who is involved in the union campaign.


Judge rejects limit on Elon Musk tweets

A federal judge in California has rejected a request from shareholders in a lawsuit to force Elon Musk stop talking about his 2018 tweets in which he said he had the funding to make Tesla a private company.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Edward Chen Wednesday came just hours after the Tesla CEO’s lawyer filed a document in the case saying that a gag order would trample on Musk’s free speech rights.

Lawyers for the shareholders have argued that Musk is trying to influence potential jurors before the lawsuit comes to trial on Jan. 17. The lawsuit contends that the CEO’s August 2018 tweets were written to manipulate Tesla’s stock price, costing shareholders money.

Chen confirmed in an order Wednesday that he has ruled that Musk’s 2018 tweets about having the money to take Tesla private at $420 per share were false.

But he wrote that one of the shareholders who pursued the gag order in the class-action lawsuit failed to prove his case. Chen wrote that the trial has been rescheduled for early next year, and that publicity during or just before a trial is a larger concern. He also wrote that the jury would be drawn from a large metro area, and that Musk’s comments are consistent with public positions in another related court case.


Tesla earnings jump 7 times from last year

Tesla has reported first-quarter net earnings over seven times greater than a year ago.

The electric vehicle and solar panel company reported strong sales despite global supply chain kinks and pandemic-related production cuts in China. Tesla made $3.32 billion from January through March. Excluding stock-based compensation, the Austin, Texas, company made $3.22 per share.

According to data provider FactSet, that soundly beat Wall Street estimates of $2.26 per share. Revenue for the quarter was $18.76 billion, also beating estimates of $17.85 billion.


Yellen, Ukraine walk out of Russia’s G-20 remarks

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko walked out of a Group of 20 meeting Wednesday as Russia’s representative started talking.

Several finance ministers and central bank governors also left the room, according an official familiar with the meetings who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event wasn’t public. Some ministers and central bank governors who attended virtually turned their cameras off when Russia spoke.

The move comes during the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings. The brutal effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine have taken center stage, and Treasury officials said earlier this week that Yellen would try to avoid contact with Russian officials.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner


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