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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Atlanta leads the charge in east coast mobility

Last week’s GSMA Mobility Live! – North America event brought together a bustling crowd of more than 1,200 registered visitors, including 90 senior executives representing 70 companies, across two days of conference events on mobile technology. In partnership with the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), the conference highlighted the technology behind new developments in the mobile industry such as 5G, connected cars, cyber security, digital health, FinTech, the Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality. Since the conference’s first year, attendance has quadrupled. Continue reading

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Atlanta: Winning the Race for Millennial Talent


Kate Atwood

Kate Atwood, Executive Director, ChooseATL

Home to 5.7 million people and rapidly growing, with its vibrant culture and many fast-growing industries, Atlanta is a hotbed for individuals and companies alike. According to Thumbtack, Atlanta was ranked the sixth best metro for employment, labor and hiring for 2016. However, as competition for talent grows among new and emerging cities, the ability to sustain this competitive advantage will increasingly rely on the depth and quality of the region’s talent pool. This means we must work diligently to attract and retain Millennials who will comprise 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. Continue reading

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Georgia FinTech Companies Converge for MONEY20/20

ATLANTA (Oct. 24, 2016) – Hundreds of representatives from Georgia’s FinTech industry have made the pilgrimage to Las Vegas to attend this year’s annual Money20/20. Here at the show floor, Georgia is well represented as a national capital of FinTech. Continue reading

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The Atlanta E3 Awards Showcases Atlanta Business Leaders Promoting Regional Economy and Environment

Where the economy and environment connect for everyone

Atlanta E3 AwardsThe Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) announced the winners of the 2016 Atlanta E3 Awards, showcasing business achievement and innovation, clean technologies, and sustainability solutions that enhance our economy and environment. In its fourth year, the Atlanta E3 Awards promotes synergies between economic development and the environment, which is an attractive benefit for local residents, as well as those looking to relocate to the metro region. Continue reading

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Three Reasons Why Atlanta is Ripe for Exporters

Zaheer Faruqi

Zaheer Faruqi

By Zaheer Faruqi, Aventure Aviation

Over the past decade, Atlanta has climbed to 64th from 71st amongst the Top 100 United States metros for exports. In fact, export businesses can now be found in every single metro Atlanta county and more than 80 percent of Georgia’s 159 counties. Continue reading

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GSMA Mobility Live! to host world-class industry leaders for Atlanta conference program

The GSMA and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) announced the next round of speakers for ‘GSMA Mobility Live! – North America’ conference being held in Atlanta, Nov. 1-2, 2016. Merging the previously separate ‘Mobile 360 – North America’ and ‘Mobility LIVE!’ events, the new event collaboration will bring together leading mobile industry innovators with more event features.

The combined event will offer a dynamic platform to explore the key trends impacting the mobile industry as well as highlight innovation and new developments impacting areas such as digital commerce, FinTech, security, connected living, and more. With the theme of “Transforming the Connected Lifestyle,” the two-day conference will bring rich content to a vast array of key leaders and mobile influencers.

Confirmed speakers for ‘GSMA Mobility Live! – North America’ to date include:

  • Steve Cannon, CEO, AMB Group
  • Jared Miller, CTO, AMB Sports and Entertainment
  • Daphne Gottschalk, Head of Innovation Program, Amdocs
  • Andy Peart, CMO and CSO, Artificial Solutions
  • Cameron Coursey, VP, Product Development, AT&T
  • Glenn Lurie, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Operations, AT&T
  • Mike Zeto, Executive Director, AT&T Smart Cities, AT&T
  • Kevin Wade, Director, Solutions Marketing, Blue Planet, Ciena
  • Arvind Satyam, MD, Global Business Development, Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco
  • Chris Dennis, Global Product Strategy, Freestyle, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Steve Robb, SVP, Security Marketing and Product Strategy, ControlScan
  • Mike Burgiss, VP Strategy, Mobility, Cox Automotive
  • John Dwyer, President, Cricket Wireless
  • Sabina Saksena, Founder and CEO, CytiLife
  • Radhika Subramanian, CEO, Emcien Corporation
  • Jane Schachtel, Global Head of Technology and Telco Strategy, Facebook
  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC
  • Andy Davies, Senior Director, IoT Solutions, Flex
  • Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, VP and Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy and Ecosystem, GENBAND
  • Yoav Schreiber, COO and Business Development, GlassBox
  • Bruce Snell, Cybersecurity and Privacy Director, Intel Security
  • Bill Keen, VP, Mobile Solutions, Digital Guest Experience and Applied Discovery, Intercontinental Hotels Group
  • Don A. Bailey, Founder, Lab Mouse Security
  • Dori Gurwitz, VP New Business, LISNR
  • Hala Moddelmog, President and CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber
  • Nirav Desai, Principal Healthcare Strategist, Mobiquity
  • Joel Evans, Co-Founder, VP Cloud and Mobile Transformation, Mobiquity
  • Rajiv Dholakia, VP Products and Business Development, Nok Nok Labs
  • Kwame Johnson, Executive Director, PowerMyLearning
  • Mary Clark, CMO, Syniverse
  • Eitan Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder, TechSee Augmented Vision
  • Hannu Verkasalo, CEO and Founder, Verto Analytics
  • Noah Wasmer, SVP, Mobile Products, VMware
  • June Sugiyama, Director, Vodafone Foundation Americas
  • Todd McGuire, Chief Strategy Officer, Worldpay

The GSMA has hosted an annual North America event in Atlanta as part of its Mobile 360 Series since 2014, bringing together leading executives from across the mobile industry, including operators, vendors and internet companies.

The 2015 Mobility Live! conference, managed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber, included more than 1,000 attendees and featured a keynote session from Apple’s Senior Vice President for Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue in a fireside chat with AT&T Mobility President and CEO Glenn Lurie.

Visit the GSMA Mobility Live!  website for more information, including how to attend, exhibit or sponsor the conference. Follow the latest updates on Twitter, using the #MobilityLive hashtag or following @MobilityLive and @GSMA.


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