Delta’s Ed Bastian to Chair Metro Atlanta Chamber in 2021
Friday, November 30th, 2018
More than 2,000 of the most influential leaders from across metro Atlanta gathered at the newly-renovated State Farm Arena for the 159th Metro Atlanta Chamber Annual Meeting. In addition to celebrating the organization’s 2018 achievements and identifying priorities for 2019, MAC announced that Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian will be the organization’s 2021 chair, succeeding GE Power President and CEO Russell Stokes, 2018 MAC chair, UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney, 2019 MAC chair-elect, and Invesco CEO Marty Flanagan, 2020 chair-elect.
A key highlight during the meeting was the launch of a new digital toolkit – the ATL Brand Box – which includes messaging, photos, neighborhood information and other resources designed for anyone interested in telling the region’s story. MAC combined comprehensive research with input from organizations across metro Atlanta’s 29-county region and Brookings Institution to develop the ATL Brand Box. The new tool aims to arm the region with a unified and compelling narrative as it ramps up to host Super Bowl LIII in 2019.
“Great storytelling is at the heart of strong economic development, and the official launch of the ATL Brand Box is truly a milestone for our region,” said Hala Moddelmog, MAC’s president and CEO. “Thorough research and collaboration have led to this tool that will help all of us share a consistent, compelling narrative whether you’re an economic developer recruiting new companies, a human resources director recruiting new talent or a marketer building a new ad campaign that showcases Atlanta.”
Stokes, Moddelmog, Abney, Dan Corso, president of the Atlanta Sports Council and Super Bowl LIII Host Committee Board of Directors, Arthur Blank, owner and chairman of the Blank Family of Businesses, and Steve Koonin, CEO of the Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena, took the stage during the meeting to represent their organizations and MAC’s executive committee. They introduced the following MAC 2019 priorities:
strengthen workforce to match talent supply with demand through updated research and regional collaboration,
work to launch tools to monitor and measure the region’s reputation, both nationally and globally, and
continue to support regional initiatives, conversations and research around inclusive economic growth.
“Talent is driving growth and redefining how the world sees metro Atlanta,” said Abney. “Feeding our talent pipeline will remain a priority as we work to create strong workforce development programs and advocate for education policy that creates opportunities for all.”
Moddelmog added, “Along with these priorities, we’ll continue our efforts to attract new businesses and drive corporate expansion while advocating for business-friendly legislation that protects our reputation as the top state for doing business.”
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal also took the stage during the meeting. He was recognized for his leadership in economic development and job creation as well as criminal justice reform and education. Additionally, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms delivered remarks that focused on recent economic wins for the city.
By the end of the meeting, MAC’s key call-outs on metro Atlanta were clear: top tech hub, unmatched culture and welcoming community. Countless statistics and initiatives were shared to underscore these messages, including:
Top Tech Hub – Atlanta is the number one U.S. city for startups outside of New York and San Francisco (source: FitSmallBusiness.com) and driving growth among scaling companies in the tech space with initiatives like Backed by ATL and IoT.ATL.
Unmatched Culture – Metro Atlanta is home to THEA, the first ever city-based OTT video platform, and a cultural center with arts, food, film, sports and outdoor recreation for every taste and interest.
Welcoming Community – Atlanta is the number one moving destination in the nation (source: Penske) and a region laser-focused on affordability, education, workforce development and other policies that will create a diverse and inclusive community for all.
“Today’s unique venue and special touches remind us that the Metro Atlanta Chamber is not yesterday’s chamber, just as metro Atlanta isn’t yesterday’s region,” said Stokes. “We are future forward: a top tech hub with unmatched culture and a welcoming community like no other.”