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Metro Atlanta Chamber


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Metro Atlanta Chamber


Executive Team Members


Hala Moddelmog

President & CEO

Hala Moddelmog is a business and civic leader with more than 20 years in president and CEO roles. She also serves as a corporate director for two NYSE companies – FLEETCOR Technologies and Lamb Weston – and as a board member of several blue-chip nonprofit organizations.

As the first female president and CEO of the nearly 160-year-old Metro Atlanta Chamber, Hala works on behalf of FORTUNE 500 companies and SMEs in the country’s ninth largest metro region. Prior to joining MAC, Hala was president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the first woman to lead an international restaurant company as president of Church’s Chicken.

Hala’s current nonprofit boards include Georgia Public Broadcasting appointed by the Governor of Georgia, Woodruff Arts Center, The Alliance Theatre co-chair for 2017-2019 and Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.

Hala has a Master of Arts degree in journalism and mass communications from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Georgia Southern University. She has attended executive education programs at Harvard Business School and Kellogg School of Management. Georgia Southern University awarded Hala an Honorary Doctorate of Letters.


Thomas J. Cunningham

Chief Economist

Thomas J. Cunningham is Senior Vice President and the Chief Economist for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC). Tom joined the MAC in July 2015 following a 30-year career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He is a specialist in open economy macroeconomic policy and regional analysis. At the MAC, he manages an internal team that supports the research and advocacy roles of the economic development and public policy departments.  

After starting his career at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta as an economist in the Macropolicy group, Tom served at various times as associate director of research, interim director of research, vice president for the Regional group where he was also responsible for the Latin American group, and acting head of the Finance group. He served on the Bank's Personnel, Information Technology, and Risk Management Committees and as a member of the Federal Reserve System's Information Security Group and Technology Services Council. He also was the acting director of, and helped establish, the Bank's Center for Real Estate Analytics. When Dr. Cunningham retired from the Fed, his title was Vice President, Senior Economist and Regional Executive.

A native of Reedley, California, he received a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, in economics from California State University, Fresno. He earned a master's degree, a master of philosophy, and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. He previously worked as an economics instructor at Barnard College at Columbia University and as an adjunct instructor at Iona College, Agnes Scott College, and Emory University. He attended the executive development program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and is a member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2018. He is a board member of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Nexus as well as the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance. Dr. Cunningham has published numerous professional articles and is a member of the American Economic Association, the Western Economic Association, and the Southern Economic Association.


David Hartnett

Chief Economic Development Officer

404.586.8443 |

As chief economic development officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, David leads the team focused on the retention, recruitment, and expansion of existing and start-up companies within key clusters, e.g., Mobility, IoT, Cybersecurity, Fin Tech, Digital Media, Supply Chain, Bioscience, and Health IT.

Before joining the Chamber, Hartnett served as the president and CEO of Maco Pharma® (formerly United Pharma) a privately held US medical device/pharmaceutical company based in Duluth, Georgia, headquartered in Lille France. Before Maco Pharma, Hartnett was president and CEO of SteriFx® Corporation, a specialty chemical start-up, contracted by U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA). Prior to SteriFx, he was the executive vice president of the North American headquarters of Given Imaging, Inc. an Israeli start-up with corporate headquarters in Yokneam, Israel. Under his leadership, the company commercialized the “PillCam” video capsule, a disposable capsule that captures video after it is ingested by the patient. Hartnett helped to raise close to $30 million in a private placement for corporate infrastructure development and product commercialization before the company going public in 2001 (GIVN-NASDAQ). Hartnett served as vice president of marketing at ERBE Electro-surgery, the largest manufacturer of electrosurgical systems in the world, where he was responsible for commercial marketing throughout North America.

He has also served in a variety of other senior sales and marketing roles for the following companies: Karl Storz Lithotripsy, Genzyme (formerly Deknatel), STERIS (formerly AMSCO) and the XEROX Corporation.

He holds a B.A. in Communication from San Diego State University with a master’s equivalent in marketing through post-graduate studies.

He currently serves on the following boards:

-Chairman, of the Board, Atlanta Science Festival™

-Board of Trustees, Georgia Global Health Alliance

-Vice Chairman, Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership

-President Emeritus, Southeastern Medical Device Association

-Director/Co-Founder, Venture Atlanta Coalition

-Director, Georgia Bio statewide trade association

-Director/Co-Founder, Health IT Leadership Summit

-Director/Co-Founder, Institute for Healthcare Information Technology

-Quick Start, statewide advanced training program, Board of Advisor

-President’s Community Board (CAB), Kennesaw State University

Hartnett is married with four sons, was raised on Coronado Island, California and is an active member of the Atlanta business community.




Katie Kirkpatrick

Chief Policy Officer

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Katie Kirkpatrick is the chief policy officer for the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), leading the Public Policy team which focuses on public policy, government affairs and political action. Kirkpatrick joined MAC in 2007 as vice president of Environmental Affairs, overseeing the Chamber’s work on sustainability, including water, air, energy, and quality growth issues. She has served in various key roles shaping environmental policy and overseeing water-related issues. Following her environmental role, she served as senior vice president for Business Higher Education, which focused on driving discovery, innovation,and entrepreneurship through collaboration of business and higher education. Before joining MAC, she served as director of environmental engineering for Gold Kist, Inc. Her duties there included regulatory compliance, strategic planning, external affairs, and designing various treatment systems.

Kirkpatrick graduated from Auburn University and is a registered professional engineer in several states. She is currently vice-chair of the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and past board chair for the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. She is a 2011 recipient of Atlanta BusinessChronicle’s prestigious “40 Under 40” award and is an active alumna of Leadership Atlanta. She serves on the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and is the chair of the Government Relations Division. She is also a member of the Northern District of Georgia Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel.

She also volunteers for various youth sports leagues, Peachtree Road UMC, and is a member of the parent volunteer association for Christ the King School. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Track Club. Kirkpatrick, her husband, Dow, and their two boys reside in Atlanta.

Dan Corso

Dan Corso

President, Atlanta Sports Council

Dan Corso joined the Atlanta Sports Council (ASC) in 1999 after serving as Vice Chair of the Festival Division for the 1998 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.  

The Atlanta Sports Council’s mission is to facilitate the growth and development of sports in metro Atlanta by serving as a recruiter for major regional, national and international sporting events. The organization plays an important role in improving the quality of life for residents in the region through sports, working to drive economic growth and visibility and acting as an advocate for the area teams and annual sporting events.
The Sports Council’s accomplishments include hosting several prominent sporting events such as the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Four, MLB, NHL and NBA All-Star Games, WrestleMania XXVII and ACC and SEC Basketball Tournaments. Most recently, the ASC managed the effort to successfully recruit the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, Super Bowl LIII (2019) and the 2020 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
During his time at the ASC, the organization has been named Sports Commission of the Year by the National Association of Sports Commissions four times (2000, 2004, 2006 and 2015). 

Corso is President of the Atlanta Football Host Committee Inc., for the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and College Football Hall of Fame and Advisory Board for the Celebration Bowl.


Janice Rys

Chief Development Officer

Janice Rys serves the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) as chief development officer. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing and coordinating all revenue generation for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. This includes growing the investor base; cultivating relationships with investors, Board of Directors, and prospective investors; providing strategic leadership and planning for future development needs.  MAC represents the 29-county region with a $15 million annual budget.

She is acknowledged for her leadership capabilities, strategic visioning and negotiating strengths as well as her ability to build partnerships with individuals at all levels in corporate organizations. Her sales skills combined with her intuitiveness, responsiveness and talent for executing on strategies has benefited the organization by providing ever increasing results for Chamber leadership and over 20 plus Chamber Chairs.

She has traveled the world, including Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Georgia, and Romania serving as a Board Member for the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE). She has been active in the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association (ACCE) and serves on the Board of Trustees for Leadership Atlanta and the Grady Hospital Ambassador Force.

Prior to coming to MAC, Rys served as Territory Manager for Kellogg’s. She attended the University of Florida and has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Rys served on the Boards of Clayton State University College of Business Advisory Board, and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).  


Deisha Barnett

Chief Brand and Communications Officer

Deisha is an accomplished communications executive with deep experience and expertise in guiding communications and marketing strategies, counseling C-level executives and growing teams. She is a passionate leader and savvy driver of integrated campaigns that generate results – whether targeting investors, consumers, employees or community stakeholders.

Deisha leads the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s strategic focus on promoting Atlanta. Her team spans across internal communications, media relations, speech writing, digital communications, traditional marketing and the organization’s millennial and gen Z-targeted movement, ChooseATL.

Deisha brings new energy to Atlanta’s narrative and is driving real impact as she works to position Atlanta as a great place to live and a great place for business. In 2018, she guided storytelling as the region bid for Amazon’s HQ2 and launched in advance of Super Bowl LIII.

For nearly 10 years prior, Deisha was dedicated to promoting and protecting Walmart’s brand. She was tapped for a number of roles, including leading crisis communications, financial communications, consumer public relations, Walmart Foundation communications and CEO-positioning. In addition, Deisha established Walmart’s Women in Corporate Affairs speaker series designed to grow women leaders through education, exposure and mentoring.

Deisha is known for her media relations prowess, having landed Walmart President and CEO, Doug McMillon exclusive interviews with Fortune Magazine, CNBC, CNN and FOX Business. She also convinced BloombergTV to interview Atlanta CEOs and leaders, including Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Pinewood Studios’ Frank Patterson, ICE’s Jeff Sprecher and The Home Depot’s Craig Menear.

Deisha started her career at Ketchum where she rose from intern to critical account team member in the consumer brand and multicultural marketing practices. She earned Silver Anvil awards for work supporting Kodak and Procter & Gamble. More recently, she has been profiled in PRWeek and AdAge, and is a regular judge for prominent industry awards. PRWeek referred to Deisha as a “young pro who represents the future of PR" and an "inspiring individual.”

Deisha is on the boards of the Atlanta Press Club and Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School which prepares high-potential students from low-income communities for college success and disrupts systemic inequity in education. She is a proud alumna of Clark Atlanta University and spends her spare time catching up on podcasts and playing “tickle monster” with Ajani and Taj, her sons and greatest accomplishments. Deisha currently resides in Smyrna.


Alex Gonzalez

Chief Innovation Officer

Alex Gonzalez is an innovation, strategy, brand and culture curator, catalyst and storyteller. He has over 20 years of experience at several Fortune 500 and 1000 companies where he held a variety of senior executive roles. He is the chief innovation officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where he leads the work to accelerate the region’s innovation ecosystem and serve as an ambassador to metro Atlanta’s innovation brand. Alex is founder, executive producer and host of the Disruptor Studio, a digital series that showcases inspirational leaders and innovators. He is also founder of Highwire Group, a collective of executives, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders that advise executives on being innovators and change-leaders. Alex is also an author and speaker on innovation and business culture and contributes to several blogs.

Alex has extensive corporate leadership experience. At Equifax he held the roles of chief innovation officer, president – North America Commercial Solution, and senior vice president of strategic marketing, where he built the growth and innovation strategy for the company. At GE, he held a variety of leadership roles including customer experience leader for GE Insurance Solutions, where he connected the brand promise, culture and results. Alex started his career in customer-centered roles at Chubb Insurance and received his degree in finance from the University of South Florida.

Alex is active in helping grow Atlanta. His current and past nonprofit board roles include the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Junior Achievement of Georgia, Georgia Soccer, the Atlanta Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Zoo Atlanta. He is also a member of the Georgia State University Marketing Roundtable and is on the Advisory Board of the American Marketing Association-Atlanta.


Douglas Ray

Chief Financial Officer

Doug Ray is a certified public accountant with over 35 years experience and has been in charge of overseeing all financial and accounting aspects for several industry leading real estate companies. 

In September 2014, Mr. Ray joined the Metro Atlanta Chamber.  In his current capacity, he is responsible for overseeing the Finance, Information Technology and Building Operations groups for the Chamber, which for over 150 years has been the key organization for attracting new companies to the Atlanta Region and stimulating business growth for the area. 

In October 2011, Mr. Ray joined Invest Atlanta as Chief Financial Officer where he was responsible for managing all financial and administrative matters for the City of Atlanta’s economic development agency.

Prior to joining Invest Atlanta, Mr. Ray was Chief Financial Officer for Elias Brothers Group for 5 years, a well respected Southwest Florida developer, homebuilder and painting/restoration contractor where he was responsible for all financial and accounting functions including bank relations, financial reporting, economic analyses, cash flow management and loan negotiations.

For the 9 years prior to joining Elias Brothers Group, Mr. Ray was Chief Financial Officer of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods in Atlanta, GA, one of the largest privately owned homebuilders in the United States and winner of numerous awards including National Builder of the Year and America’s Best Builder, both presented by the National Association of Homebuilders.  He was responsible for providing financial and accounting oversight to the entire organization.  Some of his initiatives included implementing a formal economic analysis process for potential land acquisitions, establishing a detailed system of accounting and financial policies and procedures, an annual budget process, an internal audit function and a property tax administration department.

From 1992 until he joined John Wieland Homes, Mr. Ray served as Vice President, Director of Accounting, Administration, Property Management and Construction for Codina Group’s Deering Bay community in Coral Gables, FL during the development of this luxury community which features 286 luxury homes, an 18 home Arnold Palmer golf course, 600 member country club and 2 marinas.     

Starting in early 1981, Mr. Ray served as Vice President, Retail Property Accounting for Carter & Associates in Atlanta.  At Carter & Associates, he managed the economic analysis, financial development, construction and operational accounting for up to 20 regional malls, power strip and strip shopping centers with an aggregate value ranging from $500 million to $1 billion.  Mr. Ray worked closely with major lenders on loan packaging and administration of the projects as well as representing Carter & Associates in the negotiation and completion of property closings.

Mr. Ray is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama.  After graduation, he began his professional career with PWC, where he completed the requirements for his CPA certificate and gained valuable experience auditing a variety of clients.

Kathryn Putnam

Kathryn Putnam

Chief of Staff

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Kathryn serves in a multi-faceted role: she organizes and executes the monthly Board meetings and events and the daily communications for the 175 Board of Director companies. She also assists with a multitude of special projects including assisting the Economic Development team with companies relocating to Atlanta. Kathryn manages the invoicing process for the entire Metro Atlanta Chamber membership.

An Atlanta native, Kathryn graduated from the Lovett School and from Furman University with a business degree. 

Kathryn is a member of Peachtree Presbyterian Church, Junior League of Atlanta, Capital City Club, and a volunteer for Atlanta Charity Clays. Kathryn and her husband, Jeff, live in Buckhead.



Georgia Yanis

Vice President, Human Resources

Georgia Yanis is an accomplished human resources professional with over 20 years of diversified leadership experience in advertising, publishing, marketing, service industries, technology startups and nonprofits. She is a passionate leader with a proven talent for developing human resources plans to integrate operational business strategy and promote top performance. 

Georgia currently leads human resources efforts for the Metro Atlanta Chamber, where her focus is on advancing the strategic goals of MAC by leading the design and execution of talent management, talent development, performance management and culture. 

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Georgia made her way to Atlanta in spring 1998 after a weekend trip to the city caused her to fall in love with southern hospitality and warmer climates. She attended Western Michigan University where she earned her bachelor's degree in communications and art history. Georgia, her husband, Jason, and their dog, Frida, live in Kirkwood.

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