The Atlanta Business League pays tribute to one of the most dynamic African American entrepreneurs in the city by making his life the subject of its first LESSONS from LEADERS podcast.


Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. has a successful entrepreneurial career that started almost 30 years ago. But in the podcast, you learn that he picked up the art of negotiation from his father in Toccoa, GA. The podcast also explains that he actually became a force that Black and white political eaders all over the state respected – when he was in college. It’s there he developed his penchant for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He has been a champion of
these institutions his entire life and has a specific fondness for his undergraduate alma mater, Fort Valley State University. Dortch colorfully tells why he forever links the college to his start as a leader in the podcast.

The affable and beloved entrepreneur’s passionate support for African American business success shows up in several entertainingly told stories. He also talks about his contributions to the Atlanta Business League and the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and a 35-year battle with three forms of cancer.

Dortch’s interview kicks off the Black History Month podcast series and was released Friday, Feb 2.

An amazing list of Atlanta based business leaders are a part of the ABL’ TELLING OUR STORY series.

Some of those already interviewed or confirmed include: fast food franchise mogul Mack Wilbourn; television news trailblazer Monica Pearson; Georgia’s first Black woman Supreme Court Justice Leah Ward Sears; neighborhood redevelopment genius Egbert Perry; a four-generation dynasty of Black business owners and educators, Daryll Harris Griffin and her son, Michael; interior architect Karen Duckett; The Gathering Spot co-founders Ryan Wilson and T.K. Petersen; inventor Lonnie Johnson; former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin; investment wizard Roosevelt Giles, and former banking executive Milton Jones.

“Black business history is an overlooked topic,” Atlanta Business League president and CEO Leona Barr-Davenport explains. “The LESSONS from LEADERS and ABL DUOs podcast series corrects the problem and helps anyone interested in business connect with the lives of these powerful and insightful people.”

The LESSONS from LEADERS series is one of two podcasts produced by the Atlanta Business League in 2023. The other is ABL DUOs where two people discuss one business topic. Both will release twelve episodes. They are available on all podcast media platforms and ABL social media sites.

Use the QR code at the top of the page to download, subscribe and listen. For more information contact the Atlanta Business League at (404)-584-8126.

The Atlanta Business League (ABL) is the flagship organization for African American business owners and managers. The ABL was an affiliate of the original National Negro Business League, founded by Booker T. Washington in 1900.

The Atlanta Business League is proud to be recognized, more than 120 years later, as one of the last thriving chapters. Since 1933, the ABL has evolved to help foster and grow effective and profitable business leadership.

The ideals that the ABL support, work for its 15,000 members and constituents and the entire metro Atlanta community. The organization’s vision is to endow the future of minority, female, and all aspiring businesses in Atlanta with the tools needed to succeed.


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