MAC's 155th Annual Meeting, hosted at the Delta Flight Museum, focused on fueling the region’s economic engine through innovation, telling its story as a place where anyone, from anywhere can make history and enhancing quality of life and the business climate through public policy initiatives. Delta Air Lines, Inc. CEO and 2014 MAC Chair Richard Anderson, Cousins Properties Incorporated CEO and 2015 MAC Chair Larry Gellerstedt, and Metro Atlanta Chamber President & CEO Hala Moddelmog headlined the program.

(from left) Richard Anderson, Hala Moddelmog, Larry Gellerstedt

The meeting kicked off with highlights from 2014. Together with partners, MAC helped recruit 61 companies, creating more than 8,100 new jobs across the region. In addition, more than 50 startups and 300 entrepreneurs were assisted with growing their businesses through connections to capital, professional expertise and customers.

Larry Gellerstedt, President & CEO of Cousins Properties, Inc. and 2015 MAC Chair, speaks on transportation in Atlanta.

A new marketing initiative was also announced to help tell the story of the region in a comprehensive and compelling way. As a starting point, BBDO created a brand manifesto to highlight the region’s assets.

New campaign to accelerate the innovation economy and make Atlanta a hub for imagination.

To help build on the chamber’s strategy to accelerate the region’s position as an innovation leader, some of metro Atlanta’s most successful entrepreneurs were asked to share their perspective on the current state of the innovation economy.

Marketing Atlanta

Serial entrepreneurs, Paul Judge and Allen Nance also weighed in, highlighting why Atlanta is ripe for innovation, the importance of attracting and retaining talent and how they’re working to create a unique collaborative environment that brings together students, big business, and entrepreneurs – all in one place – at TechSquare Labs.

Paul Judge & Allen Nance discuss the innovation landscape in Atlanta.

Mayor Kasim Reed, summed up what metro Atlanta’s approach to innovation should be with his closing remarks at the ARC’s 2014 “State of the Region Breakfast.”

Mayor Kasim Reed at ARC's Annual State of the Region Breakfast.

The meeting closed with a focus of public policy. Improving the state and region’s business climate, education and environmental issues will be key agenda items for the chamber’s legislative initiatives in 2015.