Posts Tagged Stephen F. Been

Leadership DeKalb Serves Community via Important Leadership Programs

Recognized for his achievements as a homebuilder as well as a philanthropist, Stephen F. Been has sponsored numerous civic organizations and charities in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. As part of his extensive philanthropic work in the area, Stephen F. Been has donated to Leadership DeKalb, a regional group that supports community development, outreach, and education through several important programs.

Founded in 1986 by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, Leadership DeKalb assumed its present status as an independent nonprofit eight years later. Today, Leadership DeKalb hosts a 10-month leadership development program for professionals in the region, which covers a range of important issues in diversity, public education, government, economics, transportation, healthcare, and more. In 2013, more than 50 people graduated from the program, and over 1,000 have completed the program since the organization’s inception. In addition, Leadership DeKalb offers the Youth Leadership DeKalb program, through which high school sophomores and juniors learn about some of the most important issues facing the community and how they can make a positive impact on their community in their lives and careers.

Visit to learn more or to get involved with this community organization.



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University of Georgia Meets “Public Ivy” Criteria by Stephen F. Been

In the 1980s, the term “Public Ivy” was introduced by Richard Moll in his effort to identify public colleges and universities that were competitive with prestigious Ivy League universities like Harvard and Yale.

This year, the concept of the Public Ivy has been refined by researchers at Educated Quest (EQ), an organization that reviews colleges and universities across the country for prospective students and their parents. The criteria that EQ set forth for the designation included high student retention and graduation rates coupled with comparatively low tuition rates.

The University of Georgia (UGA) was featured on the EQ list of new Public Ivies. It also ranked among the top 25 public universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. UGA’s Terry College of Business was noted as one of its major strengths, ranking in the top ten among all college business schools for several academic areas including Risk Management and Insurance, Real Estate, and Management Information Systems.

About the author: Stephen F. Been is CEO of Legacy Communities, an Atlanta-based contractor and real estate development firm. Legacy was recognized as National Builder of the Year in 2009 by the magazine Professional Builder. Mr. Been graduated from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia.

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Stephen F. Been: About Leadership DeKalb

Established in 1986, Leadership DeKalb is the brainchild of a diverse group of DeKalb County’s leaders, including educators, elected officials, CEOs, entrepreneurs, judges, volunteers, and leaders of nonprofit organizations.

New members representing a cross-section of the community are nominated annually. Approximately 50 to 55 are selected to participate in a training program that presents information on a range of issues facing the community, such as quality of life, health, government, and education. On completion of the training program, members join with a network of more than 900 other Leadership DeKalb members.

Leadership DeKalb also sponsors Youth Leadership DeKalb, designed to promote leadership skills for tomorrow’s leaders. Youth members meet with adult Leadership DeKalb graduates, participate in an overnight retreat, and attend monthly classes regarding subjects such as healthy living, responsibility, finance, healthy relationships, business etiquette, and juvenile justice.

Leadership DeKalb is a nonprofit organization, and donations – corporate, individual, or in-kind—are tax-deductible.

As CEO of Legacy Communities Real Estate Development and Construction, Stephen F. Been is a major corporate sponsor of Youth Leadership DeKalb. Mr. Been is also a multi-year sponsor of Leadership DeKalb’s Golf Classic fundraiser, held at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club.

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Stephen F. Been’s Contributions to the Frank Ski Annual Youth Bowl

Involved in Atlanta-area real estate development since the early 1990s, Stephen F. Been heads Legacy Communities, LLC. Maintaining close ties to the local community, Been supports a number of nonprofit foundations and initiatives, including the Henry County YMCA Foundation, the Mayor’s Next Step Program, and the Frank Ski Kids Foundation (FSKF). His support for FSKF has totaled $750,000 over the course of several years.

The Frank Ski Kids Foundation was established by Atlanta television and radio personality Frank Ski as a way of providing youth with hands-on opportunities for personal development and achievement. The foundation’s community activities notably encompass athletics, science, technology, and the arts.

One of the most prominent FSKF events is the Frank Ski Annual Youth Bowl. Children who participate in their local parks and recreation football programs can earn a chance to play on one of the four Youth Bowl teams. Stephen F. Been and Legacy Communities have not only helped to host the event but also provided the trophies for the teams and for the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.


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Stephen F. Been on First-time Home Buying

Based in Atlanta, Stephen F. Been has served as Legacy Communities’ Chief Executive Officer for nearly a decade. An astute leader, Stephen F. Been assisted his housing development firm in successfully weathering the housing market’s financial challenges of the last few years.

While housing prices have declined significantly since 2007, demand has not kept pace with the increased inventory. One sector that has shown some signs of life is that of first-time home buyers. This may be attributable to the federal government’s $8,000 tax credit for new buyers. Even though this credit expired in 2010, now remains a good time for individuals considering buying their first home to take advantage of favorable prices. The following suggestions may be helpful to those new to the market:

1. Check with family members for assistance with the down payment. The federal government allows individuals to give as much as $13,000 tax free to one person in a year. Relatives who wish to receive the money back can work with borrowers to document such loans formally.

2. Research loan opportunities from the Federal Housing Administration. This agency often provides notes at lower rates and for smaller down payments to qualifying individuals.

3. Exercise caution in obtaining a mortgage. While online lenders may promise very low interest rates, such deals may come with conditions. It may also help to check with state agencies to verify that such lenders remain in good standing.

4. Consider the total cost of home ownership. Buying a property includes costs aside from a mortgage, such as homeowner’s insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community dues.

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