ATLANTA (Nov. 19, 2020) – Today, business leaders across metro Atlanta tuned in virtually as the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) hosted its 161st Annual Meeting, honoring its efforts to drive the region’s reputation as a global competitor. MAC Board Chair, Invesco President and CEO Marty Flanagan recapped the year and highlighted the region’s strong position for the future. The organization also announced three key focus areas for 2021: racial equity, public health and economic recovery.
In addition, Dr. Raphael W. Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, was announced as MAC’s 2022 chair-elect, succeeding its 2021 chair-elect, Delta Air Lines’ CEO Ed Bastian. Meeting attendees also heard from Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, City of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Head of Google for Startups US Jewel Burks Solomon, Atlanta Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller and U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, along with a host of prominent business leaders across the region.
“2020 started off with strong momentum and became a year that challenged us unlike any other,” Flanagan said. “As we faced a global pandemic, a down economy and the noble fight to end systemic racism, our business community rose to the occasion. And we are excited about the future as we continue our focus on racial equity, public health and economic recovery – the priorities that will position our region for the future.”
“I’m honored to be serving the Metro Atlanta Chamber as its 2021 board chair, as the organization embarks on its mission to drive racial equity, public health and economic recovery,” said Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, the incoming board chair. “Our journey will be a challenging one, but the businesses and the people of metro Atlanta have shown that our resilience, our shared values and our determination have never been stronger.”
“The Metro Atlanta Chamber has a significant role to play in what’s to come, both in our region and on a national scale,” Bostic said. “MAC is uniquely positioned to activate, accelerate and impact growth and change for the better. I'm looking forward to continuing to serve this business community and improve the livelihoods for everyone in the region as the 2022 chair.”
MAC will continue its long-standing efforts across economic development, public policy and promoting metro Atlanta’s brand through major sporting events and strategic marketing. Under the leadership of recently appointed president and CEO, Katie Kirkpatrick, MAC will also double-down on the following areas in its strategic plan for 2021:
Racial Equity: In 2020, metro Atlanta’s business community came together to drive passage of the historic Hate Crimes bill and Second Chances legislation. MAC has since set out to drive collective impact to address our region’s racial equity challenges across four key areas: corporate policies, inclusive economic development, workforce and education. The organization is defining problem statements, impacts and the host of regional NGOs who are critical to the business community’s success in this area. MAC expects to fully launch this effort in 2021.
Public Health: Earlier this year and in partnership with the CDC Foundation, MAC mobilized resources to launch the Global Health Crisis Coordination Center in response to the current health crisis and in an effort to position metro Atlanta as a center for global health. In 2020, MAC also supported efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 with campaigns like Get Georgia Well, the Georgia Safety Promise and Bank of America’s Million Mask Challenge. In 2021, MAC will continue to work across the business community to address public health concerns.
Economic Recovery: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MAC launched RESTORE, an ambitious initiative in partnership with more than 50 business leaders to spur job creation and economic recovery across Georgia through public policy. In addition, MAC partnered with the CareSource Foundation to create the RESTORE ATL Fund to support Black-owned small and medium-sized businesses that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic. To date, more than $180,000 in grants have been awarded. Today, MAC is announcing another round of grants totaling over $150,000 to be awarded in 2021. Metro Atlanta’s economy continues to rebound better than the national average, and MAC will continue efforts to spur economic growth through job creation, advocacy and promotion.
“Activate. Accelerate. Impact. — that’s what we do in metro Atlanta,” said Kirkpatrick. “We nurture and welcome global leaders who disrupt the status quo and change the world. We work to build a more inclusive and equitable community for all. From Fortune 1000s and startups to civic engagement, film, arts, hip hop and sports, we are careers, community and culture. This spirit is alive in our region even in the midst of a pandemic and it will propel us into the future.”
MAC’s 161st Annual Meeting was also an opportunity for the organization to call attention to several noteworthy events and milestones in 2020. Examples include: major brands such as Deluxe, Microsoft, Papa John’s, The Home Depot, Zillow and others announcing expansions or relocation deals; the business community coming together in unique ways to reinforce public health best practices, recruit poll workers and celebrate the legacies of Civil Rights icons Congressman John Lewis and Reverends C.T. Vivian and Joseph E. Lowery; philanthropic giving to support neighbors impacted by COVID-19; and relaunching ChooseATL, the region’s campaign to attract and retain next-gen talent.
To view a replay of the meeting and for more information, visit metroatlantachamber.com.
About the Metro Atlanta Chamber
The Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) serves as a catalyst for a more prosperous and vibrant region. To advance economic growth and improve metro Atlanta's quality of place, MAC is focused on starting, growing and recruiting companies to the 29-county metro Atlanta region. The Chamber is also focused on expanding the region's innovation economy by promoting and strengthening connections to drive Atlanta's innovation and entrepreneurial culture. MAC is committed to being an active voice for the business community, serving as an advocate for a competitive business climate and promoting Atlanta's story. For more information, visit www.MetroAtlantaChamber.com.
Click here to view MAC's 2020 Annual Meeting book.