ChooseATL Brings Corporate Giants, Artists and Jobs to SXSW 2017

ChooseATL today announced that it will take its search for top tech talent on the road to South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 for the second year in a row. Over the course of three days, Atlanta will make groundbreaking announcements, convene top corporate leaders and entrepreneurs, host exclusive conversations with world-renowned artists such as Ludacris, and activate the largest job fair booth at SXSW.

“With an incredibly diverse set of career options and our rich culture and community, it’s impossible to capture the Atlanta experience in just one day,” said Kate Atwood, executive director of ChooseATL. “So, we’ve crafted a three-day SXSW experience that promises to ignite new ideas, create business opportunities and increase the world’s sense of connectivity to our vibrant region and people.”

The activation officially kicks off on March 11, with the opening of the 1,000 square-foot job fair booth at the SXSW Job Market in the Austin Convention Center. During the two-day exhibition, Delta Air Lines, First Data, Georgia Power, Paymetric, Global Resource Management and more will all be on hand to promote their job opportunities in the areas of digital media, engineering and software development, among others.

On March 13, ChooseATL will elevate Atlanta’s tech, film and music industries by transforming the iconic Maggie Mae’s on Sixth Street into the “ChooseATL House.” The “House” will deliver a true Atlanta experience that catalyzes connections and immerses SXSW attendees in the culture of the region. With an expected 3,000 attendees, the activation will open with a groundbreaking announcement from ChooseATL as it continues to engage millennials through personalized and content-rich mediums. Other programming includes:

ChooseATL’s signature Southern Brunch & Conversation featuring a fireside chat with artist and actor Ludacris who will discuss how Atlanta nurtured his rise to fame.

Entrepreneurs and global corporations will take center stage during the “Big Brands Driving Innovation” panel, featuring executives from Cox Enterprises, Delta and Home Depot. The panel will be followed by the first Entrepreneur Invitational where C-level executives will meet one-on-one with entrepreneurs to discuss collaborative opportunities.

Atlanta’s position as a leading film hub will be on display when Tripp Crosby, aspiring filmmaker and half of the YouTube sketch comedy duo “Tripp and Tyler,” interviews Frank Patterson, president of Pinewood Atlanta Studios, to discuss making “A Movie in Real Life.”

“Going BIG with digitalundivided” will feature entrepreneurs Kathryn Finney, managing director, digitalundivided, and Nicole Sanchez, founder, eCreditHero, discussing how women can start, scale and sell their companies.

Culture Republic, a lifestyle and marketing company responsible for managing the brands of superstars such as T.I., OutKast and Ludacris will ignite the house with an epic night party featuring some of Atlanta’s hottest artists.

ChooseATL’s SXSW experience is made possible by premier sponsor Georgia Power, as well as generous sponsorships from AR|PR; Delta Air Lines, who will host this year’s happy hour; Pinewood Atlanta Studios and more. To learn more and to see the full lineup, visit and follow @ChooseATL for live updates.

About ChooseATL:

ChooseATL is a regional initiative focused on telling a comprehensive story about Atlanta to attract and retain top talent and intentionally grow the region’s prosperity in the global economy. The campaign highlights the abundant opportunity for career growth across the 29-county region, as well as the unique culture and highly-ranked livability. To join the movement, visit or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

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Top 10 facts about Metro Atlanta to be excited about in 2017


By Patrick Adcock

The new year is now in full swing, and as we look forward to all of the changes and opportunities coming, it’s also important to take stock of where Atlanta is on the national and global stage. Continue reading

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ATLANTA (February 10, 2017) – During HIMSS17, 13 of Georgia’s key thought leaders in the health information technology sector will be a part of a speaker series sponsored by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Metro Atlanta Chamber. As the only state with a pavilion during the conference, Georgia is using this global stage to showcase the concentration, diversity and innovation of the companies in the state’s healthcare ecosystem.

Speaker series topics cover a broad range of expertise in topics impacting the health IT sector today, ranging from rural healthcare and FHIR to telehealth and EMR. The key influencers in Georgia and metro Atlanta’s health IT sector who will be sharing their expertise include:

  • Alexander Anthony, chief operating and strategy officer, Four Season Healthcare Consultants
  • Baha Zeidan, CEO, Azalea Health
  • Justin Pierce, vice president of sales, Azalea Health
  • Justin Barnes, chief growth officer, iHealth
  • Jon Duke, M.D., director of health data analytics, Georgia Tech Research Institute
  • Sidney P. Smith, M.D., president and CEO, Anagen Systems
  • Theo Harvey, CEO, SynsorMed
  • Michael Trader, president and co-founder, RightPatient™
  • Lucie Ide, M.D./PhD., president and CEO, Rimidi
  • Dee Cantrell, president, Georgia HIMSS Board of Directors
  • Jim Bowling, co-founder and COO, PREMEDEX
  • Van Willis, co-founder and CEO, PREMEDEX
  • David Sides, CEO, Streamline Health
MAC’s Bioscience Leadership Council is the connection between Atlanta’s thriving bioscience community and leadership.

MAC’s Bioscience Leadership Council is the connection between Atlanta’s thriving bioscience community and leadership.

“Georgia leads the nation with more than 225 HIT companies, and we are committed to the healthcare and life sciences industry through continuous investment in its people and resources,” said EJane Caraway, Georgia Department of Economic Development’s director of Life Sciences and Corporate Solutions. “HIMSS is the perfect platform for the state, and our partners joining us, to show industry leaders Georgia’s ability to attract and retain health IT companies and keep them competitive. We look forward to the future opportunities this conference will afford us.”

“Because Georgia’s health IT sector is the largest in the nation, we have the talent to drive the latest trends and technology across the industry,” said Kornelius Bankston, MAC’s director of Bioscience Ecosystem Expansion. “With our delegation’s strong presence at HIMSS, we can demonstrate why metro Atlanta is among the top 10 best healthcare cities and a top 10 tech talent market.”

Today’s global digital health market is valued at over $55 billion and is expected to grow by 21 percent by 2020. With the nation’s largest segment of health IT companies (225+), Georgia has solidified its position as a leader across every subsector in the healthcare ecosystem. A few examples include:

  • McKesson: recognized as a 2016 Elite 100 by InformationWeek for technology innovation in scalable business intelligence solutions
  • Azalea Health: established as a leader in EHR and PM solutions with security software; selected by Georgia State University for education tool for health informatics students; provider of rural healthcare solutions across the Southeast
  • SynsorMed: telehealth innovators producing wearable technology for patient monitoring and virtual consultations
  • Piedmont Innovation Center: partnership between Piedmont Healthcare and Global Center for Medical Innovation; advancing delivery of medical technology; first of its kind in Southeast
  • Healthcare Innovation Program: partnership between Emory University and Georgia Tech; interactive network of healthcare providers supporting and enhancing innovation around topics like quality, cost and access to health services
  • eICU Remote Care Program: telemedicine program at Emory Healthcare; provides around the clock care for ICU patients by partnering with healthcare facility in Sydney, Australia; has potential for the development of a global eICU network

To view the full conference schedule, visit


The 2017 HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society) Annual Conference and Exhibition, February 19-23, 2017, in Orlando, brings together 40,000+ health IT professionals, clinicians, executives and vendors from around the world. Exceptional education, world-class speakers, cutting-edge health IT products and powerful networking are hallmarks of this industry-leading conference. More than 300 education programs feature keynotes, thought leader sessions, roundtable discussions and workshops, plus a full day of preconference symposia. Learn more at

About The Metro Atlanta Chamber

The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta’s quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region’s innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta’s innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and telling Atlanta’s story. For more information, visit



Jennifer Spann, Communications Manager

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Atlanta Football Host Committee Unveils “I’m In” Marketing Campaign

The college football season may be over, but the excitement around the sport is still going strong in Atlanta. The Atlanta Football Host Committee (AFHC) just launched a year-long marketing and social media campaign to energize the community in preparation for the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday, January 8, 2018. Continue reading

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ChooseATL Names University of South Carolina Graduate Student Winner of 2017 Ultimate Job Interview Contest

“From left to right, runners up Gayla Robbins and AJ Wilson pose with UJIC winner Nicole Smith.”

“From left to right, runners up Gayla Robbins and AJ Wilson pose with UJIC winner Nicole Smith.”

Nicole Smith Awarded $10,000 During a Primetime Special on WSB-TV


ChooseATL, a movement dedicated to attracting and retaining top talent to metro Atlanta, yesterday announced the winner of its Second Annual Ultimate Job Interview Contest (UJIC) during a finale event broadcasted on WSB-TV. After conducting Shark Tank-style interviews with three finalists, a panel of judges presented University of South Carolina (USC) graduate student Nicole Smith with a $10,000 grand prize.

Smith is a Surfside Beach, S.C. native and received her master’s degree in mass communication from USC in December 2016. While studying, she held three internships and a full-time position with a state cabinet agency.

“I considered living all over the country, but after I weighed the pros and cons of all the major cities, I only had positive things to say about Atlanta,” said Smith. “Winning the Ultimate Job Interview Contest feels like an official welcome to the city that I’m meant to thrive in.”

In addition to the cash prize, Smith was awarded six months’ free rent at Olmsted Chamblee and a six-month MARTA pass. Wesleyan University student AJ Wilson came in second and received $5,000, while Spelman College alumna Gayla Robbins placed third and won $2,500. In addition, all three finalists will receive interviews with Atlanta companies in their particular industries of interest.

The finale event took place January 12 at WSB-TV’s studio in Atlanta. All three finalists pitched themselves to the judges before an invite-only audience. The panel of judges included:

   Steve Koonin – CEO of the Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club

   Marian Pittman – executive vice president of digital strategy and research at Cox Media Group

   Hala Moddelmog – president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber

   Kathryn Finney – founder and managing director of digitalundivided

   Jeffrey Martín – founder, president and CEO of honorCode

“In the contest’s second year, we received over 135 entries from students and young professionals across the country who were eager to share why they want to make their mark in Atlanta,” said Kate Atwood, vice president of ChooseATL. “We feel strongly that Gayla, Nicole and AJ, are among the next wave of game changers and we’re excited to welcome them to the Atlanta family.”

All three contestants arrived in Atlanta on January 10 to compete in the finale event. Participants enjoyed an all-expense paid, three-day trip during which they toured the Center for Civil and Human Rights, participated in a business challenge at the College Football Hall of Fame and Adult Swim, and networked with influential city leaders, including Mayor Kasim Reed.

The Ultimate Job Interview Contest is an initiative from ChooseATL to advance its mission of attracting and retaining top and emerging millennial talent to its city by showcasing opportunity, evolving perceptions and engaging them in building the community they will ultimately call home. To learn more, visit

About ChooseATL

ChooseATL is a movement focused on telling a comprehensive story about Atlanta to attract and retain top talent to intentionally grow the region’s prosperity in the global economy. The initiative highlights the abundant opportunity for career growth across the 29-county region, as well as the unique culture and lifestyle offered in Atlanta. To join the movement, visit or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Rachel Blanks, AR|PR

(855) 300-8209

Terrilyn Simmons, ChooseATL

(404) 586-5448

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Metro Atlanta Chamber Takes Flight

Soaring to new heights and making way for progress, the Metro Atlanta Chamber moved their headquarters to 191 Peachtree Tower to support the expansion of Centennial Olympic Park. In collaboration with partners across the region, they continue their work to move Atlanta forward. The opening of the new headquarters is a reflection of the dedication of so many in support of their continued work. Continue reading

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ChooseATL Reveals Finalists for Second Annual Ultimate Job Interview Contest

Contestants will compete for a combined total of nearly $25,000 in prizes

finalistChooseATL, a movement dedicated to attracting and retaining top talent to metro Atlanta, today announced the top three finalists for its second annual Ultimate Job Interview Contest (UJIC). After a public voting period, 135 entrants were narrowed down to 10 semifinalists. The three final contestants were then selected by a panel of top Atlanta executives after a virtual job interview. This year’s finalists are:

  • Gayla R. Robbins – science educator and alumna of Spelman College in Atlanta.
  • Nicole C. Smith – master’s student at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
  • AJ Wilson – sophomore at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.

The three finalists will travel to Atlanta in January 2017 for an all-expense paid, two-day authentic Atlanta experience. During their time in Atlanta, they will stay at the W Hotel Atlanta, have an exclusive dinner at the Sundial Restaurant with influential city leaders, meet with C-suite executives to discuss job opportunities, participate in an interactive business “challenge,” and have a luxury helicopter ride over the city. On the final day, contestants will participate in a Shark Tank-style interview competition, before a panel of C-level executives for a chance to win cash prizes of $2,500 for third place, $5,000 for second place, or $10,000 for first place. The winner will also walk away with six months free rent at Olmsted Chamblee along with a six month MARTA pass. This new apartment complex is nestled along walking paths and is easily accessible to shops and restaurants.

“This next generation of talent wants it all – collaborative workplaces, a vibrant culture, challenging careers and more. All of which are available in Atlanta, and we are proud to showcase this through activations like the Ultimate Job Interview Contest,” said Kate Atwood, executive director of ChooseATL. “Exposing talent to Atlanta’s unique culture in an authentic way is what will help continue to make Atlanta a driving force and top-tier global competitor in today’s market.”

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-7-24-41-pmMetro Atlanta is already recognized as a hotspot for Millennials. Last year alone, named Atlanta the No. 2 best city for Millennials, and Mayflower reported Atlanta as the No. 5 Most Moved to City by Millennials.

“Today’s generation of professionals have passion and drive. They want to make an impact at work and on their community,” said Bill Kaelin, owner at Bill Kaelin Marketing and UJIC judge. “As a business owner, those characteristics are eye-catching. Not only do they exemplify exactly the kind of talent I look for on my own team, but they epitomize precisely the type of talent Atlanta needs to propel itself forward. I am honored to help ChooseATL attract this next generation of talent as an UJIC judge, and I look forward to seeing what these finalists bring to the table in January.”

Sponsors for the second annual Ultimate Job Interview Contest include Bill Kaelin Marketing, Cox Enterprises, Inc., Olmsted Chamblee, the Nebo Agency, W Atlanta Downtown, and the Sundial Restaurant among others.

Judges for UJIC include:

  • Greg Abel – owner and executive director of client services and strategy at Tailfin Page
  • Jason Carter – founder and president at Sol Fusion Media Group
  • Jenny Jang – senior project manager for public policy at the Metro Atlanta Chamber
  • Bill Kaelin – owner at Bill Kaelin Marketing
  • Tami McQueen – director of marketing at SalesLoft
  • Brett Oliver – director of development for Olmsted Chamblee.
  • Marian Pittman – executive vice president of digital strategy and research at Cox Media Group
  • Jennifer Stanford Johnson – associate director for the Center of Academic Planning and Success at Spelman College
  • Anna Ruth Williams – founder and CEO at AR|PR

The Ultimate Job Interview Contest will air on Atlanta’s WSB-TV and in January 2017. For more information on the contest and to view the finalists’ entries visit

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Inside the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s 2016 Annual Meeting

By Patrick Adcock

This year’s Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) Annual Meeting offered up equal reflection on the accomplishments of the past 12 months as well as a preview of the promise 2017 holds. With over 1,300 business leaders and guests in attendance on Nov. 30, the Atlanta Hyatt Regency’s ballroom was packed with the kind of talent only found in Georgia.   Continue reading

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ATLeaders creating social impact

Patrick Adcock

Patrick Adcock

By Patrick Adcock

As Thanksgiving draws near and we consider what we are thankful for from the past year, it’s important not to overlook another key aspect of the holiday – giving back. Creating social impact in our communities and the metro region is a goal that the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s ATLeaders Council continues to strive for every day.

Since ATLeaders’ inception in May this year, the council has made strides in making a difference on the issues of transit and food insecurities. ATLeaders is a council comprised solely of business professionals under 40 chaired by Fred Roselli, senior director of communications with Boys and Girls Clubs of America, for the purpose of providing a support network to other young professionals with communication channels reaching the larger business community of the region. Driving social change is a component of this mandate.

There are 35 food deserts inside the perimeter with more than two million Georgians residing within them, including more than 500 children. Coupled with issues concerning transit and access to public transport, whole segments of Atlanta’s population are living in need. As 2016 wraps up, ATLeaders can look back at the success of several initiatives aimed at serving these needs.

ATLeaders 2016 Holiday Party

ATLeaders 2016 Holiday Party

ATLeaders hosted a two-part series entitled “Impacting Social Change,” with part one covering transit and part two covering food insecurities. These presentations brought the discussion of the issues further to the forefront among business leaders. From the birth of ATLeaders, the council has sought to raise awareness of the referenda in the Nov. 8 elections. Their efforts in collaboration with multiple supporting organizations led to the passage of the MARTA and TSPLOST bills – turning the dream of MARTA expansion and $300 million worth of other projects over the next five years into a reality.

ATLeaders regularly reaches out and works with organizations committed to improving metro Atlanta. Among this year’s social impact partners are Advance Atlanta, MARTA, Relay Bike Share, WeCycle, Georgia Organics, Food Well Alliance, and Truly Living Well.  

Capping off 2016, the ATLeaders Holiday Party raised a toast to progressive social impact. The council boarded buses to visit social partners, WeCycle Atlanta and Truly Living Well, while enjoying an organic and locally sourced dinner. Council members celebrated the passage of the transit bills, and by the end of the night, 200 pounds of food were donated to the Atlanta Community Food Bank by the council and its guests.

ATLeaders 2016 Holiday Party

ATLeaders 2016 Holiday Party

These are only a few examples of ATLeaders’ work in combatting food deserts and transport issues in Atlanta. October’s MARTA Hackathon sought to find the next big thing in Atlanta transit. Initiatives like these drive public and corporate awareness in these topics.

ATLeaders highlights the need to engage corporations on the issues surrounding access to food in our community, while also prioritizing individual action in buying local goods to support Atlanta’s Food Movement. The council has also succeeded in lobbying for the need to expand and improve our local transportation. ATLeaders is thankful this holiday season for the amazing commitment of its council and the business community in their efforts to make Atlanta a great place to live for everyone, and the council will continue to work for the benefit of the region’s entire population.

Here’s to 2017!

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Atlanta: Deals Happen Here

Discover why Atlanta is the innovation capital of the Southeast. For the past 10 years, investment activity has blossomed, raising $5.5 billion in venture capital and $116 billion in private equity. Why do 220 of the fast growing private companies call our metro area home? Atlanta is a top 10 market for tech talent and the #3 city for STEM employment growth, due in part to leading universities like Georgia Tech and Emory. Watch the video below to find out why your money goes further in Atlanta.


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