Metro Atlanta Chamber

Our Team

ChooseATL Team Members

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ChooseATL Team Members


Kate Atwood

Executive Director, ChooseATL

Kate Atwood is an entrepreneur and a community leader who has built her career on heading-up social impact initiatives in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
At 23, Kate founded Kate’s Club, a nationally-acclaimed not-for-profit organization based in Atlanta that provides support to children and teens facing life after the death of a parent or sibling. Having lost her own mother to cancer at the age of 12, Kate set out to build a world for children and teens where it was ok to grieve. What started with just six kids is today a thriving sustainable community organization that serves thousands of children, and their families through year-round social and therapeutic support programs.  
Following a successful founder transition, Kate left her post at Kate’s Club and went on to serve as the Executive Director of the Arby’s Foundation.  While at the helm of the Arby’s Foundation, Kate refocused its efforts on a new strategic mission that more closely aligned with the Arby’s brand. During her tenure, Kate helped the organization contribute more than $18 million to ending childhood hunger in the United States. 
In 2015, Kate joined the Metro Atlanta Chamber, as Vice President to lead the recently launched ChooseATL campaign. In this newly created role, Kate is responsible for focusing the region’s narrative to showcase all that metro Atlanta has to offer with the purpose to attract and retain top emerging talent.
Kate has participated in her fair share of media along the way. She has been featured in People Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, Huffington Post, and has had appearances on the Today Show, the Meredith Vieira Show, CNN, and ABC-TV’s The View.   She was recognized in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s feature “Up and Comers: Top 40 under 40”, and was honored by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of Georgia’s “40 under 40.” In 2013, she was named to GOOD Magazine’s global “GOOD 100” list for her commitment to helping others.
 Kate remains involved with Kate’s Club as its Founder, serves on the Share our Strength Leadership Council and on the 11Alive Community Service Awards Board of Governors.  She is a published author of “A Healing Place”, and has been featured in six books as a thought-leader on personal giving and social enterprise.  She resides in Atlanta, Georgia.



Terrilyn Simmons

Director, Marketing and Communications

Terrilyn Simmons, director of Marketing and Communications for ChooseATL, is responsible for developing and implementing high-impact marketing and communications strategies to authentically engage NextGens.

Prior to joining the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Simmons served as the integrated communications manager at Spelman College, the No. 1 Historically Black College and University in the U.S. During her tenure, she provided strategic counsel to the president and senior team as well as developed innovative communications initiatives to significantly elevate the college’s brand nationally and internationally. A seasoned media strategist, Simmons led the organization's media relations team, executing award-winning programs that generated record-setting coverage and national awards for the college.

Simmons has consistently been recognized for her work receiving some of the communications industry's top awards including a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America, a Best of Phoenix Award and Best Media Relations Program Award from the Public Relations Society of Georgia.

Simmons currently serves on the Technology Association of Georgia’s Awareness Task Force board where she co-chairs the Where Georgia Leads Marketing Committee. She is a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Buckhead class and a former board member of the Buckhead Business Association. Simmons received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from Georgia State University.


Karyn Lu

Digital Director

Karyn oversees digital, social and OTT for ChooseATL, and is passionate about building a movement for Atlanta. Previously, she spent a decade at Turner where she led teams in UX design, digital product strategy and served a stint as the company's chief futurist. She is a Mini Maker Faire producer, and her work has earned a Webby Award and a CES Innovation Award.

Karyn is a frequent public speaker on the topics of innovation and the future of work, and has been featured by TEDx and Creative Mornings. She holds a M.S. in Digital Media from Georgia Tech and a B.A. in English Literature from Wellesley College.

Outside of work, Karyn plays violin with indie band Oryx & Crake. She lives in Smyrna with her husband Keith, their sons Leo and Alden & dog Sputnik. Karyn is passionate about community and serves in an advisory capacity to numerous Atlanta-based organizations including Public Broadcasting Atlanta and #weloveatl. She is a member of the LEAD Atlanta Class of 2014.


Alexis Everett

Marketing Coordinator

Alexis joined ChooseATL in February 2016 as an intern and now serves as the Marketing Coordinator for the team. In her current role, Alexis manages local events and activations, oversees ChooseATL’s social media platforms, and is the liaison for community engagement.

Missouri native turned ATL enthusiast, Alexis graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2015 with a B.A. in both Mass Media Arts and Spanish. Alexis lives in the Old Fourth Ward and enjoys spending her free time riding her bike or walking the BeltLine.  


Ty Jackson

Project Manager

Ty Jackson is the Executive Assistant/project manager for the ChooseATL team. In her role, she provides day-to-day support to the executive director for ChooseATL.  She also assists in managing logistical details for the many live activation events sponsored by ChooseATL. Ty has extensive experience supporting senior level executives within the communications industry; she has held roles within Turner (formerly Turner Broadcasting Systems, Inc.) and Comcast Spotlight.

Ty holds a bachelor of science degree in Communications from St. John’s University. She currently lives in Fayette County, Georgia, with her husband and young son.