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Metro Atlanta Chamber


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April 2, 2018

ATLeaders Previews What’s Coming, Introduces Board Seats Program


As organizations and regions seek to attract and develop their pipeline of  leadership, talent has become one of the most valuable assets of metro Atlanta. Organizations want their executive suite to reflect the values of this next generation, and building the professional influence of these young individuals working to advance in their companies was a subject of the Q1 ATLeaders Council meeting.

Ben Warshaw, lead for the professional influence working group for ATLeaders, introduced a new program for the council focused on building the presence of diverse young leaders. The ATLeaders Board Seat Program partners with nonprofits to provide a board seat for candidates from among top-performing, under-40 professionals. This initiative will operate with the goal of developing a pipeline for bringing diverse, next-generation individuals into positions of leadership.

“That’s the next-generation of leaders. The earlier you bring them in, they will become life-time supporters of your mission,” said Lenore Cusick, director of client and employee engagement and vice president, CIBC Atlantic Trust, and board member and emerging leaders network chair for CHRIS180.  

Cusick participated on a panel of nonprofits who are committed to the Board Seat Program, including Joy Holmes, executive director of the American Heart Association, and Jeffrey Kuo, program manager for Koch Business Solutions and treasurer for the Atlanta International Night Market.

The program also serves the needs of organizations and fostering boards that reflect the people they serve.

“People don’t realize how diverse Atlanta is. A lot of people want to learn about different cultures but don’t know how. We need more viewpoints to expand our vision,” Kuo said.

“There’s a priority with millennials and young people toward well-being and health,” Holmes said. “Employers are beginning to change what they offer to this generation.”

Building young professionals confidence will be a priority for ATLeaders this year.

“ATLeaders created a momentum last year, and now we are working to make sure we provide a channel and a means for our young professionals to get connected,” said Jennifer Winn, general manager of natural resources for Georgia Power and chair of the ATLeaders Council. “I want to make sure young people recognize that their voices are valuable as we build the program.”

ATLeaders is the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s (MAC) council comprised solely of young professionals under 40 years of age. The council is focused on providing future leaders with access to the business community, a network of their peers and a platform to create social impact. For more information on how to become a part of ATLeaders, please contact Cecile Kirby.

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