Wednesday
was a very special day for us here at Hartman Simons. That’s when the Atlanta
Association of Legal Administrators
(AALA) announced at its annual luncheon in
Buckhead that Rachelle Jones, our office administrator and AALA’s chair of
community relations, had won the association’s individual Spirit Award and that
Hartman Simons had won the Spirit Award for law firms.

Jones and
our firm’s efforts to assist the students of Westlake High School prepare
college applications were cited as reasons for the awards. In this Four on
Friday, we discuss the award with Jones. Grant Rivera, brother of our associate
Ryan Rivera, is the principal of the school.

We couldn’t
be more proud of Rachelle and all of the attorneys here who have worked so hard
to help Westlake High School. Congratulations, everyone!


Summey Orr Rachelle Jones AALA Spirit Award Hartman Simons Commercial Real Estate Blog

Managing Partner Summey Orr, left, and Rachelle Jones with Hartman Simons' AALA Spirit Awards.


What was your
reaction when it was announced that you were the recipient of the Spirit Award?
 

Jones: Surprise. I
knew everyone enjoyed and appreciated the work I put into the events, but I
never expected to get an award for it. Being able to help the Westlake students
has always seemed enough of an award for me.

I was also very pleased when they announced Hartman Simons was also
getting the award because so many of our employees volunteered for the Westlake
events. Without the volunteers, this partnership wouldn’t
have been as
successful as it has.

What aspect of
your work with AALA are you most proud?

Jones: I’m most proud
of the difference we have made. Westlake’s principal, Grant Rivera said at the
AALA luncheon that his school’s college applications were up 50 percent this
year. He also said the school’s ACT scores had increased. It’s amazing what
showing you have faith in the students can do for them! 

What's been the
biggest benefit to you of your time in AALA?

Jones: There are so
many benefits to being part of AALA – the community involvement, mentor
programs, educational conferences and generous business partners (which have donated
several book scholarships to Westlake students). I don’t know how to list just
one!

It is really a great group of people to be associated with. AALA cares
about the community and the success of its members and business partners, and
it shows in everything that the organization does. 

When you're not
at Hartman Simons or working with AALA, how do you like to spend your time?

Jones: I’m either at
school – I’m pursuing a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Kennesaw State
University – doing homework, reading or doing something in the outdoors. I love
hiking, kayaking and biking. 

Further reading:

• Four on Friday: Photos from College Night at Westlake High School

Four on Friday: Helping Westlake High School