The Gathering Spot splits from Greenwood, independent again

The separation comes months after the two companies were in court over business disagreements
(Left to right) The Gathering Spot co-founder Ryan Wilson poses for a portrait with Greenwood CEO Ryan Glover at The Gathering Spot Atlanta on Thursday, August 3, 2023.  (Natrice Miller/

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

Credit: Natrice Miller/AJC

(Left to right) The Gathering Spot co-founder Ryan Wilson poses for a portrait with Greenwood CEO Ryan Glover at The Gathering Spot Atlanta on Thursday, August 3, 2023. (Natrice Miller/

The Gathering Spot, the Black-owned networking hub and co-working space founded in Atlanta, announced Thursday it has split from its parent company, digital banking platform Greenwood, and its two co-founders have reacquired majority ownership.

The split involves two notable African American-owned companies that famously merged just last year and suffered a very public spat that wound up in the courts.

“Ultimately the goal is to try to position both of these companies for success,” Ryan Wilson, CEO and co-founder of the Gathering Spot (TGS), told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about taking his company independent.

He did not get into the specifics of the deal that gave him and his co-founder, T’Keel “TK” Petersen, primary ownership again. But Wilson said the split was amicable and was not related to earlier acrimony.

“We wish each other well,” he said. “Both of these companies play an important role in the community.”

A Greenwood spokesperson on Thursday said CEO Ryan Glover remains a board member and adviser to the co-working company, and Greenwood will remain a shareholder. Glover said on Friday he was a board member-observer, though later clarified he is a board observer.

A portion of the new TGS operating agreement shown to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday evening lists him as a “non-voting observer to the board.” Wilson said Glover has no formal role and Greenwood is not involved in the management of the company.

Greenwood — whose founders also include rapper Michael “Killer Mike” Render and former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young — announced in May 2022 it had bought TGS in a partnership that could help bridge the racial wealth gap and build community for Black and minority people. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed then, but court records later made public pegged it at $50 million in cash and Greenwood stock.

But things turned contentious early this year. In February, Wilson and Petersen sued Greenwood for allegedly withholding payments after acquiring the company.

In June, Greenwood countersued, saying the TGS founders misconstrued the purchase agreement.

Wilson filed a second suit in July alleging Greenwood engaged in intentional misconduct and withheld a $5 million earn-out payment tied to TGS reaching a $15 million revenue target.

Days after that suit was filed, TGS announced Petersen would cease to be the club’s chief operating officer.

The dispute resulted in a public outcry among TGS’s 10,000 members and shortly after Greenwood and TGS announced they settled their business disputes.

Now, the two are no longer in business together but are maintaining a partnership. Wilson said taking the company independent was unrelated with the summer’s turmoil and was rather a decision that it would be better for both companies to pursue their own paths.

Glover echoed that sentiment in a statement.

“Both companies remain supportive of each other’s growth as they transition back to operating as separate entities,” he said. “Greenwood and The Gathering Spot remain committed to the community, continuing to offer innovative solutions and services that foster growth and empowerment.”

Greenwood account holders who pay for the $200 per month Elevate membership will still have access to TGS locations in Los Angeles, Washington and Atlanta, a Greenwood spokesperson said.

On Monday evening Wilson and Petersen will be hosting a town hall in Atlanta to discuss the change in ownership and what they are planning for 2024: new clubs, an expansion of the programs at the existing locations and new ways to leverage technology.

“Look, I started this business with one of my closest friends and we’ve gone on to build a business that we’re really, really proud of,” he said. “It’s going to be an exciting season for us.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to more fully describe the ownership stakes and relationship of the two companies going forward. On Friday evening, it was updated again to correct information about The Gathering Spot’s board.

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