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Economic Development

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Economic Development Team Members

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David Hartnett

Chief Economic Development Officer

404.586.8443 |

As chief economic development officer of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, David Hartnett leads a team focused on the recruitment, retention and expansion of existing companies, from startups to headquarters. His team focuses on key clusters including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, creative industries (film, music, esports, AR/VR), supply chain, advanced manufacturing, and bioscience (biotech, healthtech, medtech, pharmaceutical).

Before joining the Chamber, Hartnett served as the president and CEO of Maco Pharma® (formerly United Pharma), a privately held U.S. medical device/pharmaceutical company based in Duluth, Georgia, and headquartered in Lille, France. Before Maco Pharma, Hartnett was president and CEO of SteriFx® Corporation, a specialty chemical startup, contracted by U.S. Department of Defense (DARPA). Prior to SteriFx, he served as the executive vice president of the North American headquarters of Given Imaging, Inc., an Israeli startup 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 went 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.

Hartnett 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 Bachelor of Arts degree 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:

- Carter Center, Board of Councilors

- Atlanta Science Festival™, Chairman of the Board

- Georgia Global Health Alliance, Board of Trustees

- Global Health Crisis Coordination Center (GHC3™) Founding Director

- Innovation Crescent Regional Partnership, Chairman

- Southeastern Medical Device Association, President Emeritus

- Venture Atlanta™ Coalition Director/Co-Founder

- Georgia Bio (statewide trade association), Director

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

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

- Kennesaw State University, President’s Community Board

- Leadership Atlanta Alumni 2013

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

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Gregg Simon

Senior Vice President, Project and Partner Development

404.586.8463 |

Gregg D. Simon is Senior Vice President of Project and Partner Development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC).
In his role, Simon works to build and manage relationships with our economic development partners across the 29-county metro Atlanta region and cultivate job growth across MAC’s industry clusters: bioscience, technology, mobility, supply chain & logistics and global commerce. He also assists businesses and their consultants in their evaluation of metro Atlanta for new or expanded operations.

Previously, he served as vice president of project management at MAC, and worked with partners and MAC’s project management team to support businesses interested in expanding or relocating to the region. Before that he was director of technology industry development at MAC, focusing on building Atlanta’s technology cluster and growing jobs in the areas of Internet security, wireless mobility, software development and digital media.

Simon brings more than 20 years of economic development experience to MAC. Prior to joining MAC, Simon was manager of business engagement for the Atlanta Development Authority (ADA) where he helped existing businesses and attract new ones to the city of Atlanta. Before coming to Atlanta, he was the director of business services for the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development, a private non-pro t economic development organization dedicated to business growth in Massachusetts. He also worked for Empire State Development, New York State’s economic devel- opment agency with a focus on business retention and expansion in the Buffalo regional of ce.

Simon’s work in Atlanta, Massachusetts and New York has included administration of tax and nancial incentive programs, business retention and attraction marketing initiatives, economic development policy creation and implementation, and special event planning. He has worked with businesses such as Mercedes-Benz USA, Panasonic Automotive Systems of America, Ernst & Young, Novelis, Kemira, Invesco, Wipro, Bristol Myers Squibb, Straumann, Target, General Motors, 3M, Ford, Delphi and many others to support business expansions resulting in job retention and creation.

Simon is a graduate of the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY and lives in Atlanta with his wife and three children. 

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Grant Wainscott

Vice President, Ecosystem Expansion

404.586.8462 |

Grant Wainscott is the Vice President of Ecosystem Expansion for the Metro Atlanta Chamber. In this role, Grant works to retain, expand and attract technology jobs and investment to the metro Atlanta region. He works specifically with the clusters of FinTech, Cyber Security, B2B Software and Film/Digital Media/Entertainment Tech, to support and grow the ecosystem.

Previous to his current post, Grant was the Director of Economic Development & Film for Clayton County, Georgia. In that role as the county’s lead economic officer, Grant oversaw more than $200 million in development and redevelopment projects around the world’s busiest airport, and helped attract more than 2,500 new jobs. In his role as the director of the state’s first county film office, he recruited 55 major television and film productions to the region, as well as commercials, music videos and industrials.

Grant has also served the metro Atlanta area as Vice President for Community and Economic Development for the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, and as the Director of Economic Development for the City of Morrow. As Chairman of the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce’s International Promotions Council, he led foreign trade missions for the region and has participated in more than 30 business and cultural missions throughout the world.

Prior to moving to Georgia in 2002, Grant led economic development efforts and a tech incubator for the tourist destinations of Boone & Blowing Rock, in the mountains of North Carolina.  He and his wife also owned a used and rare bookstore and cigar shop.  Previous to his time in North Carolina, he lived in Washington, DC for several years, lobbying and working with foreign embassies in commercial real estate, and in Florida where he headed up an international tech brokerage firm.

Grant holds a B.A. in International Business from Florida Southern College, and has attended university in Quebec, Canada and Augsburg, Germany, focusing on Franco-Canadian trade relations and European markets. He has studied and lived abroad in five countries, and speaks French and German. He is married with two children and lives in Avondale Estates, Georgia.

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John Woodward

Vice President, Global Commerce

404.586.8447 |

John Woodward is the Vice President of Global Commerce at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, one of the oldest and largest chambers of commerce in the United States. He assists foreign-owned enterprises (FOEs) contemplating entry or expansion in the US market. This includes site selection consulting, customized market research, incentives guidance, real estate search, labor and wage analysis, and connections to relevant corporate, government and academic parties.

In almost 20 years in economic development, Mr. Woodward has assisted hundreds of companies relocate or expand, ranging from US headquarters, operations or manufacturing for Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Adidas, “K” Line, Hamburg Sud, Voestalpine, Sany, Dongwon, Elekta, Dekra, Interroll to small/medium enterprises (SMEs) just entering the US with a sales office.

Prior to his role at the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Mr. Woodward was Director of Economic Development for the City of Richmond (Virginia), leading a department that oversaw more than $3 billion in commercial development, recruited major headquarters like MeadWestvaco and Altria, and assisted small and minority-owned businesses.

Before this, Mr. Woodward worked in commercial real estate at the New York headquarters of Cushman & Wakefield. He was also a foreign exchange trader in Washington, DC, with Ruesch International.

A frequent speaker on economic development, Mr. Woodward has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and other US and international media. He has been guest lecturer at major universities, and speaks regularly on foreign investment seminars in Europe and Asia. He has served on numerous non-profit boards, including bi-lateral chambers, schools and community.

Mr. Woodward earned a BSFS from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and an MBA from New York University Stern School of Business. He also completed programs at the Université de Strasbourg and Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) near Paris. He lives in Atlanta’s Westside with his wife and daughter. 

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Cynthia Curry

Director of Smart Cities

404.586.8424 |

As Director of Smart Cities with the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), Cynthia Curry is passionate about supporting, building, and promoting the region’s IoT ecosystem.  Her mission is to drive collaboration and engagement within the IoT and mobile community to strengthen Metro Atlanta’s position as a technological powerhouse.  She has helped MAC launch IoT.ATL, a consortium of business, government, and non-profit leaders united to help Metro Atlanta to become a globally recognized leader in IoT innovation.  She leads the MAC IoT / Mobile Leadership Council, who implements the guiding principles of IoT.ATL, and will help put Atlanta on the map for their IoT and Smart Cities innovation. 

Cynthia has helped nurture Atlanta technology companies for over 20 years.  Before coming to MAC, she partnered with companies across the city to advise them on their talent acquisition strategy and help them acquire the top talent necessary to fuel their success.  Her passion for strengthening the Atlanta technology community has shaped her career.  Through her commitment to growing the Atlanta technology market, she has helped hundreds of companies in Atlanta grow and prosper. 

Cynthia’s lives in Decatur, and has been in Atlanta for over 30 years.  She is committed to giving back to the community and serves on the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition Board, as well as the TAG (Technology Association of Georgia) Mobility Board.  She is a mom, wife, cyclist (road & MTB), a runner, a hiker, music lover, and a foodie.  Her passion for Atlanta, technology and IoT fuel her goal of helping MAC and Atlanta do great things. 

For information about IoT.ATL or the IoT / Mobile Leadership Council, contact Cynthia Curry at CCurry@MACoc.com | 404.586.8424.  

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Ben Harris

Director, Supply Chain, Advanced Manufacturing and Bioscience

404.586.8476 |

Ben Harris comes to the Metro Atlanta Chamber after serving as Senior Manager, Market Development for Manhattan Associates. There, Ben was responsible for developing Manhattan’s sales pipeline and overall Americas supply chain marketing strategy. Ben oversaw market positioning, messaging and campaign execution to build awareness and drive new pipeline growth. Prior to joining Manhattan, Ben spent four years with the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Logistics where he played a key role in establishing the Center as a go-to industry resource for information, support, partnership building, and investment development. Additionally, he became a key SME for all logistics and supply chain-focused projects. Ben began his career at Page International, Inc. where he drove continuous improvement in complex global supply chain operations for a wide variety of businesses and Fortune 500 companies. An APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP), Ben holds an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) and bachelor’s degree in International Business (BBA) from the Terry College at the University of Georgia.

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Rebecca Jordan

Senior Project Manager

404.586.8445 |

Rebecca Jordan is the Senior Project Manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s (MAC) Project Management and Regional Partnership team.  In this role she concentrates on the growth of the 29 county metro Atlanta region by supporting companies relocating to the metro area and assisting those that are seeking opportunities to expand.  Atlanta’s job growth is focused on MAC’s industry clusters of Bioscience, Mobility and IoT, Supply Chain and Technology industries.  Rebecca and her team can offer expertise and assistance with workforce, customize market research, business and tax incentives, relocation assistance and site selection.   Rebecca also focuses on cultivating relationships with our local, regional and academic partners along with the real estate community.  Rebecca joined the Chamber in February 2013 as an Executive Assistant to the President and CEO.  In November 2014, Rebecca was promoted to the Project Management team in the economic development division, where she remains today. 

Rebecca graduated from The University of Mississippi with a degree in Managerial Finance.  She also played four years of collegiate volleyball for the Ole Miss. Rebecca lives in Brookhaven with her husband, Clay and two children, Brady and Quinn. 

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Emma P. McVey

Senior Manager, Economic Development

404.586.8518 |

As Manager of the Economic Development team and Executive Assistant to the Chief Economic Development Officer at the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC), Emma is passionate about supporting the overall success of Atlanta’s different ecosystems. She works closely with the Ecosystem Expansion Directors and Project Managers at MAC, focusing on the retention, recruitment, and expansion of existing and start-up companies within key clusters including IoT, Cybersecurity, Fin Tech, Digital Media, Supply Chain, Bioscience, and Health IT. She manages the department’s budget, provides leadership and onsite execution for MAC activations at national and international conferences, and supports project management for new ecosystem initiatives.

Outside of MAC, she also works as a freelance Equity Stage Manager at theaters in metro Atlanta. Prior to the joining MAC in 2017, Emma worked in Operations Management at MATRIX Resources, an IT Staffing company. Emma graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a degree in Musical Theatre. An Atlanta native, she lives on the Westside with her husband, Connor, and two cats, Sampson and Ann Perkins.

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Michael Theisen-Jones

Director, Global Business Development

404.586.8543 |

Michael Theisen-Jones is the Director of Global Business Development at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. He manages several programs to connect metro Atlanta businesses to international growth opportunities, including the region’s largest export grant program (Atlanta Metro Export Challenge). He further assists foreign companies considering entry or expansion in the United States and connects Atlanta’s key industry sectors to global markets.

Michael holds a Master’s degree in Economics and Politics from the Freie Universität in Berlin and a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, Political Science, and Public Administration from the University of Potsdam. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley and an Erasmus Scholar at University College Dublin.

Prior to joining the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Michael worked for the in-house consulting unit of Deutsche Bahn (German Rail), the American Academy in Berlin, and Market Logic Software. He has also been involved in the development of several start-ups in Germany, including one of Berlin’s most successful NGOs, Schuelerpaten Berlin e.V.

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Ellie Tsuchiya

Associate Project Manager

404.586.8454 |

Ellie Tsuchiya is an Associate Project Manager for the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s (MAC) Project Management team. In this role, Ellie focuses on recruiting new companies and supporting existing companies in expansion efforts within the 29 county metro Atlanta region. The project management team works across MAC’s industry clusters of Bioscience, Mobility and IoT, Supply Chain and Technology industries to bring growth to the region. Ellie also focuses on cultivating relationships with local and regional partners along with the real estate community.  

Ellie is a graduate from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. degree in Economics. She spent an exchange year at Waseda Univeristy in Japan earning a minor in Japanese.

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Dylan Horne

Associate Coordinator

404.586.8444 |

Dylan Horne is an Associate Coordinator for the Economic Development team at the Metro Atlanta Chamber. In his role, Dylan is responsible for managing and improving the Economic Development team’s metric tracking and reporting procedures, as well as supporting the team’s directors and project managers in three key areas including project management, global commerce and ecosystem expansion.

Prior to joining MAC in 2019, Dylan worked at the Office of the Secretary of the Senate at the Georgia State Capitol. Dylan is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and a minor in Music. He currently resides in North Druid Hills.

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