The Buckhead Business Association Thursday presented four awards during its signature luncheon at The Estate on Piedmont Road.
Albert D. Maslia posthumously received the Karl A. Bevins Service Award, named for the city of Atlanta’s first traffic engineer. Maslia, who died April 9 at age 82, worked at Rich’s department store for 26 years, rising from a shoe salesman in its training program to senior vice president.
He then founded two businesses: Social Expressions and The Linen Loft, growing Social Expressions to 14 stores in metro Atlanta before selling it to American Greetings 22 years later (The Linen Loft closed in 2001). Maslia then spent 14 years at the AmericasMart in downtown Atlanta, where he served as its managing director when he died. He also was a retail instructor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a consultant for several organizations. Maslia was a longtime association member who served as its president in 1986, 1991 and 1994.
“He motivated others from all aspects of his life to get the job done,” said his widow Lucy, who received the honor on his behalf. “He brought people together. In everything he did, his passion for retail was contagious. Throughout the years he thought the BBA was his home. If he was physically here today, he would say he’s humbled and honored to receive the award.”
The association also honored three first responders with its public safety awards.
Investigator Drew Bahry of the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2, which includes Buckhead, was honored for helping arrest Blaine Nordahl, a man accused of stealing millions of dollars in silver from the rich and famous up and down the East Coast, including hundreds of thousands from Buckhead residents. After a New Jersey detective contacted Bahry to help him link alleged crimes in the Northeast to similar ones in Buckhead, Bahry obtained two warrants for his arrest and went to Jacksonville, Fla., in August to apprehend Nordahl’s girlfriend and then Nordahl.
“Bahry’s diligence and determination led to his capture and broke all of these cases open,” said Mark Shaver, the association’s vice president of public safety, who presented the awards.
Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Sgt. Randolph Council, a nine-year veteran, was honored for his consistent leader-ship, especially in the past year. For the past two years he has served as battalion commander at Fire Station 21 in Buckhead.
“When a sergeant was needed for an engine, he volunteered,” Shaver said. “When a sergeant was needed for a truck, he volunteered. When an extra [officer in charge] was needed for a unit due to unforeseen last-minute circumstances, he volunteered.”
Council, who was raised by his uncle, Charlie Monroe Council, and aunt, Anne Jackson, after his parents died, was honored to get the award and happy they could drive to the luncheon from Cairo, Ga.
“It was a great honor,” he said. “Everybody there were great with the support, and I was thankful to be there and thankful for my family members to be there as well. … It was an award for them as well to show them their hard work has paid off.”
Deputy Neal Solomon of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office was honored for his December arrest of Elmer Moffitt, a fugitive since October 2010 wanted for three counts of child molestation and strong-arm rape in Alpharetta and Minnesota. Solomon tracked down Moffitt at the suspect’s sister’s house in Stockbridge, where he allegedly was holding her against her will. He was arrested without incident by a team of officers from the Fulton and Henry County sheriff’s offices and the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.
“Deputy Solomon’s tenacity and diligence was the reason Elmer Moffitt was apprehended,” Shaver said. “His hard work and keen investigate skills managed the success of a case that was previously unsuccessful.”
Solomon, who has worked for the Sheriff’s Office for 23 of his 26 years in law enforcement, was pleased with the honor.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “I feel like for us this is what we do every day. A pat on the back is always good. The award was great. Whether I get an award or not, we’re always here to do the job. It’s just another day’s work.”
When asked why the association hands out its public safety awards, Shaver said, “The first thing that comes to mind is these guys put their lives on the line every day. I think for us to be able to pause and take a moment to recognize them for what they do is entirely appropriate because we are a service organization. They are the ones that serve us, so let’s take a moment and say thank you to them.”
The Neighbor has contacted the spokesperson for the police department to request an interview with Bahry and he is working to set that up.